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Pennsylvania Auditor General

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The Pennsylvania Auditor General is an elected position in the Pennsylvania state government. The auditor general serves as the commonwealth's fiscal watchdog, ensuring that all state money is spent legally and properly.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Jack Wagner. He was first elected in 2004 and was re-elected in 2008. His current term expires in 2012.

Authority

Though the state constitution does not specifically create the office of auditor general, it does allow for the addition of public officers in Article IV, Section 1:

All officers, whose selection is not provided for in this Constitution, shall be elected or appointed as may be directed by law.

Given this authority, the Pennsylvania General Assembly created the office of auditor general in 1809.[1]

Qualifications

There are no specific qualifications for the Pennsylvania Auditor General.

Elections

Initially, the auditor general was appointed by the governor, but in 1850 the position became an elected office. From 1850 to 1909, auditors general were elected to serve three-year terms. In 1909, the state legislature passed amended the constitution that expanded the terms to four years.[1]

Vacancies

Article IV, Section 8 of the Pennsylvania Constitution grants the governor the power to appoint officers to fill vacancies. In the event of a vacancy in the office of auditor general, the governor nominates a successor. This nomination must be made to the commonwealth senate within 90 days of the vacancy. The senate must then take action (confirming or not confirming the nomination) within 25 legislative days.[2]

Duties

The principal role of the auditor general is to "determine whether state funds are being used in accordance with the purpose and guidelines that govern each use of the Commonwealth's dollars."[3] The auditor general conducts financial and performance audits of individuals, state agencies, and organization that receive state funds, including school districts, state liquor stores, and public employee pensions. These audits are designed to measure how effectively government programs are using public money to meet their stated goals and objectives.[4] The office performs more than 6,000 audits each year, and is responsible for auditing all federal funds that are allocated to Pennsylvania state programs.

Divisions

The office of auditor general has four divisions, two of which are focused on the primary duty of the office. The other two have a more administrative focus.

  • The Audits division is the largest division of the auditor general's office. There are bureaus within this division that cover every type of financial audit the office conducts: Corporate Tax Audits, County Audits, Departmental Audits, Federal Audits, Liquor Audits, Firefighters' Relief Association Audits, Technical Audit Services, Municipal Pension Audits, Public Assistance Audits, and School Audits.
  • The Performance Audits division is separated into two offices that focus on two distinct types of performance audits: the Bureau of Special Performance Audits and the Bureau of State-Owned Performance Audits.
  • The Government Relations division contains the offices of Communications and the Taxpayer Advocate.
  • The Administration division contains the offices of Comptroller, Support Services, Management Information Systems, Human Resources, Equal Opportunity, and the Municipal Pension and Fire Relief Programs Unit.[5]

Compensation

In 2008, the Pennsylvania Attorney General was paid an estimated $141,565 according to the League of Women Voters[6]

Contact information

229 Finance Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0018
Phone: 717-787-2543
Fax: 717-783-4407
Email: Auditor General

See also

External links

References