Article V, Section 49 of the Colorado Constitution delegates authority to the General Assembly to appoint a non-partisan State Auditor, and establishes the term, qualifications, and certain duties for that position.
Article V, Section 49. APPOINTMENT OF STATE AUDITOR – TERM – QUALIFICATIONS – DUTIES
- The general assembly, by a majority vote of the members elected to and serving in each house, shall appoint, without regard to political affiliation, a state auditor, who shall be a certified public accountant licensed to practice in this state, to serve for a term of five years and until his successor is appointed and qualified. Except as provided by law, he shall be ineligible for appointment to any other public office in this state from which compensation is derived while serving as state auditor. He may be removed for cause at any time by a two-thirds vote of the members elected to and serving in each house.
- It shall be the duty of the state auditor to conduct post audits of all financial transactions and accounts kept by or for all departments, offices, agencies, and institutions of the state government, including educational institutions notwithstanding the provisions of section 14 of article IX of this constitution, and to perform similar or related duties with respect to such political subdivisions of the state as shall from time to time be required of him by law.
- Not more than three members of the staff of the state auditor shall be exempt from the personnel system of this state.
When visiting the Colorado General Assembly website, you’ll find a menu of topics that organize that massive and growing library of information into general topics. Where that menu will appear on your screen and how you might go about selecting a category depends on whether you are using a desktop or laptop computer versus a mobile device such as tablet or phone. From a computer, the menu will likely appear horizontally along the top of your browser window. From a mobile device, look for three horizontal bars and then press that icon to open the menu.
The eighth category in that menu is titled “Audits”, which provides access to the following information:
- Find An Audit – Provides a brief explanation of the authority of the Office of the State Auditor, a list of recently released audits, and a link to audits currently in progress.
- All Audits – Provides a searchable database of audits conducted by the Office of the State Auditor
- Audits by Report Number – Provides a searchable database of audits based on Audit Title and Report Number
The About page at the Office of the State Auditor (“OSA”) website explains that the State Auditor may “…conduct performance, financial, and IT audits of state agencies, public colleges and universities, the Judicial Branch, most special purpose authorities, any state entity designated as an enterprise, and other political subdivisions as required by law.”
The Legislative Audit Committee (“LAC”) committee page explains that the LAC is a “…permanent standing committee of the Colorado General Assembly that is comprised of four senators and four representatives with equal representation from the two major political parties.” The eight-member LAC provides oversight of the State Auditor and considers audit requests received from members of the public, governor’s office, or a member of the general assembly. If at least a simple majority of members of the LAC vote in support of such a request, then the LAC chair would then direct the State Auditor to proceed with the requested audit.
The About menu at the OSA website provides a helpful list of Common Questions about the State Auditor. If you are interested in the work of the State Auditor, then you may want to Bookmark or Add to Favorites that webpage.
The Office of State Auditor website provides its own menu of information, which includes:
- Audits – a brief explanation of the authority of the Office of the State Auditor, a list of recently released audits, and a link to audits currently in progress.
- Legislative Audit Committee – provides access to the LAC committee page, agenda for the next LAC hearing, audio broadcasts of the LAC, minutes of prior LAC meetings, and the rules of the LAC.
- Local Government – provides access to the local government filing portal, forms, contact information for the OSA Local Government section, calendars and due dates, filing guidelines, fiscal health standards for local government, and other useful documents and links related to local government in Colorado.
- Fraud Hotline – provides information about how to report a fraud concern, suggestions for where and how to report concerns regarding fraud within local government, other fraud reporting resources, and an explanation of what fraud is.
- Tax Expenditure Evaluations – provides access to tax expenditure evaluations, an evaluation schedule, stakeholder input, excise tax evaluations, income tax evaluations, insurance premium tax evaluations, sales and use tax evaluations, and severance tax evaluations.
- About – provides access to common questions about the OSA, a list of senior management, strategic plan, external peer review, awards, annual reports, and a list of all Colorado State Auditors since statehood in 1876.