North Dakota State Auditor

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North Dakota State Auditor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2011-2013 FY Budget:  $9,571,330
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  North Dakota Constitution, Article V, Section 2
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Robert Peterson.jpg
Name:  Robert Peterson
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  1997
Compensation:  $96,794
Next election:  November 8, 2016
Last election:  November 6, 2012
Other North Dakota Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service CommissionTax Commissioner
The North Dakota State Auditor is an elected executive position in the North Dakota state government. The auditor provides citizens, legislators, and government officials with professional and independent evaluations of North Dakota's financial records and performance reports.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Robert Peterson (R). He was first elected in 1996, succeeding his father in the office. His current term expires in 2016.


The state Constitution establishes the office of auditor in Article V, Section 2:

The qualified electors of the state at the times and places of choosing members of the legislative assembly shall choose a governor, lieutenant governor, agriculture commissioner, attorney general, auditor, insurance commissioner, three public service commissioners, secretary of state, superintendent of public instruction, tax commissioner, and treasurer. ...

Term Length

See also: North Dakota State and County Official Term Lengths, Initiative 5 (1964)

The four-year term length was established after an initiated constitutional amendment on the 1964 ballot was approved. Prior to this, the term length was two years.[1]


Article V, Section 4 of the North Dakota Constitution establishes the qualifications to hold the office of auditor:

To be eligible to hold an elective office established by this article, a person must be a qualified elector of this state, must be at least twenty-five years of age on the day of the election, and must have been a resident of this state for the five years preceding election to office. To be eligible to hold the office of governor or lieutenant governor, a person must be at least thirty years old on the day of the election. The attorney general must be licensed to practice law in this state.
  • qualified North Dakota voter
  • at least 25 years old
  • a resident of North Dakota for at least the five preceding years


Article V, Section 8 addresses vacancies in state executive offices. In the event of a vacancy, the governor nominates a successor who must be confirmed by the state senate. Once confirmed, the individual serves the remainder of the unexpired term.


As the chief watchdog for the state, the auditor is responsible for providing independent evaluations of the state government, state agencies and local governments. Chapter 54-10 of the North Dakota Century Code outlines the specific duties of the office:

  • audit all financial transactions of the state government
  • perform performance audits of state agencies when deemed appropriate
  • audit the following political subdivisions once every two years, or by order of the governor of legislative audit committee: counties, cities, park districts, school districts, firefighters relief associations, airport authorities, public libraries, water resource districts, the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District, rural fire protection districts, special education districts, area career and technology centers, correction centers, recreation service districts, weed boards, irrigation districts, rural ambulance service districts, southwest water authority, soil conservation districts, and housing authorities (if the housing authorities are not subject to federal audits)

The auditor also has the authority to determine whether or not to audit the international peace garden, at the request of its board of directors.[2]


North Dakota state government organizational chart

The auditor in North Dakota is popularly elected every four years, in presidential election years. For North Dakota, 2016 and 2020 are auditor election years. The term of office is four years.

Full history


There office of the auditor in North Dakota has three operational divisions:

  • The Division of State Audit, the office's largest division, is responsible for conducting financial, compliance, performance, and information system audits of all state agencies, including the university system.
  • The Division of Local Government Audit performs financial, compliance, performance, and information system audits of counties, cities, school districts, and other political subdivisions across the state.
  • The Division of Royal Audit audits the federal royalty payments from oil, gas, and coal leases.

State budget

See also: North Dakota state budget and finances

The budget for the auditor's office in Fiscal Year 2011-2013 was $9,571,330.[3]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

The auditor is legally entitled to an annual salary in accordance with Title 54 of the North Dakota Century Code. Taking into account value adjustments, the statute contains compensation figures for the previous and current year only.[4] The auditor's pay may not be increased or diminished effective during the current term.


In 2014, the state auditor was paid an estimated $96,794, according to the Council of State Governments.[5]


In 2013, the state auditor was paid an estimated $93,071, according to the Council of State Governments.[6]


In 2012, the state auditor was paid an estimated $87,728, according to the Council of State Governments.

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the North Dakota State Auditor has not yet been added because the information was unavailable on the relevant state official websites, or we are currently in the process of formatting the list for this office. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

Recent news

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Contact information

Office of the State Auditor
600 East Boulevard - 3rd Floor
Bismarck, ND 58505-0060

Phone: 701-328-2241

Contact information for all divisions

See also

External links

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