What is the Audit Process?

Any member of the Legislature can request the California State Auditor to conduct an audit using two venues--through a request to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC), a 14-member committee comprised of seven Senators and seven Assembly Members or through legislation.

JLAC audits, or discretionary audits, may evaluate any state agency, city, county, school or special district. Mandated audits are typically written into law creating or amending a program or entity or incorporated into the annual Budget Act.

Steps to request a discretionary audit

  • Submit a letter to the Chair of JLAC setting out the topic and potential scope of the requested audit.
  • Review the audit analysis prepared by the California State Auditor's office to ensure concerns are addressed. The audit analysis is confidential until the public hearing and outlines the issues, scope of the audit, and the California State Auditor's estimated timeline.
  • Present at the JLAC hearing as they deliberate the request.

What happens once an audit is approved?

  • The California State Auditor will begin the auditing process when the resources become available.
  • State law precludes the California State Auditor from discussing or disclosing any aspect of the audit once the audit commences.

What happens after the audit is completed?

  • The California State Auditor will release a report to the public.
  • The California State Auditor is available to discuss the results of the audit with any member or their staff with priority given to the requestor.
  • The California State Auditor is available to the Legislature to testify on the results of completed audits.
  • The California State Auditor requests auditees to report their progress implementing recommendations at 60 days, 6 months and one year. The California State Auditor's Office annually reports to the Legislature the auditee's progress in implementing recommendations.