The California State Auditor (State Auditor) promotes the effective and efficient administration and management of public funds and programs by providing citizens and government officials nonpartisan, accurate, and objective assessments of state and local governments' financial and operational activities. As the independent auditor, the state law exclusively grants the State Auditor full access to all records of state and local agencies, special districts, school districts, and any publicly-created entity. The State Auditor conducts performance, financial, or compliance audits that are either mandated by statute or requested by the Legislature through the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC). Further, the State Auditor is responsible for annually conducting California's statewide Single Audit - a combination of the independent audit of the State's basic financial statements and the independent audit of numerous federal programs administered by California. The Single Audit is federally required as a condition for California to receive billions in federal funds each year. In 2011-12, the Legislature enacted a program that requires the State Auditor to conduct pilot audits of the procurement practices of six trial courts in 2012-13 and thereafter biennially audit the procurement practices of the Administrative Office of the Courts and five judicial branch entities - which includes trial courts, Appellate Courts, and the Habeas Corpus Resource Center.
The State Auditor also identifies statewide issues or specific government entities as being at-high risk for waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement or that have major challenges related to efficiency and effectiveness. The State Auditor has the authority to conduct evaluations of those issues and entities identified as being high risk. Similar to the state high-risk program, Chapter 451, Statutes of 2011 (AB 187), also authorizes the State Auditor, to the extent resources are available, to identify local government agencies - including city, county, or special districts or publicly-created entities - as being at-high risk for the potential of waste, fraud, abuse, or mismanagement or that have major challenges associated with their economy, efficiency, or effectiveness. Further, if approved by the JLAC, the State Auditor can audit these identified local entities.
Additionally, under the California Whistleblower Protection Act, the State Auditor's office has broad authority to perform independent investigations into allegations of improper governmental activities by employees at state agencies and courts. The State Auditor's office administers California's Whistleblower Hotline that enables the public to report allegations of improper acts committed by the courts, state agencies, departments, or employees, as defined by law.
The Voters FIRST Act, approved by voters in November 2008 as Proposition 11, requires the State Auditor to initiate an application process for selecting the members of a 14-member Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission) every 10 years. The State Auditor develops regulations to implement the application and selection process of the Commission and conducts comprehensive outreach to prospective applicants to serve on the Commission.