Wisconsin State Auditor

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The Wisconsin State Auditor is an appointed position in the Wisconsin state government. The auditor serves as the Director of the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau - a non-partisan legislative service agency that assists the state legislature.[1]

Current officeholder

Joe Chrisman is the interim officeholder.[2] He was appointed to fill the vacancy in office after Janice Mueller retired on June 17, 2011.[2]


  • BA, Political science and economics, Montana State University
  • MA, Public affairs, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities


The legislative audit bureau was created in 1965 by Chapter 659 of the Wisconsin state code.[1]

Wisconsin Statutes, Chapter 659, 13.94, Legislative Audit Bureau

There is created a bureau to be known as the "Legislative Audit Bureau," headed by a chief known as the "State Auditor" outside the classified service. The legislative audit division shall be strictly nonpartisan. Subject to s. 16.275 (6) (a) and (c), the state auditor or his designated employes shall at all times with or without notice have access to all state departments and to any books, records or other documents maintained by such agencies and relating to their expenditures, revenues, operations and structure. In the discharge of any duty imposed by law, the state auditor may subpoena witnesses, ad- minister oaths and take testimony and cause the deposition of witnesses to be taken as prescribed for taking depositions in civil actions in circuit courts.


Qualifications of the Wisconsin State Auditor are detailed within the Wisconsin State Statutes, Chapter 659, 13.59(2):

To be eligible for appointment as state auditor a person shall have the following qualifications:

  • Training equivalent to that represented by graduation from a college or university of recognized standing with major work in accounting, finance, economics and statistics.
  • At least 5 years of successful experience involving the performance of responsible work in fiscal accounting, finance and administration.
  • Recognition in the professional accounting field as a holder of the certificate of certified public accountant.


The director of the Legislative Audit Bureau is the State Auditor, who is appointed by the Legislature's Joint Committee on Legislative Organization.[1] The State Auditor appoints staff members from outside of the classified civil service system.[1]


In the instance of a vacancy, the Legislature's Joint Committee on Legislative Organization shall appoint an interim auditor.[1]


The Legislative Audit Bureau conducts objective audits and evaluations of state agency operations to ensure financial transactions have been made in a legal and proper manner and to determine whether programs are administered effectively, efficiently, and in accordance with the policies of the Legislature and the Governor.[1] The results of these evaluations are provided to the Legislature, along with recommendations for improvements in agency operations.[1]

Detailed descriptions of the duties of the Wisconsin State Auditor can be found in Wisconsin Statutes, Chapter 659, 13.94, Legislative Audit Bureau

The State Auditor shall:

  • Direct the immediate operations of the state audit division.
  • Supervise and train the personnel assigned to him.
  • Supervise all expenditures of the state audit division.
  • Subject to the approval of the joint committee on legislative organization, attend such midwest and national meetings as will benefit the operation of his division.


The Legislative Audit Bureau is organized into four sections:[1]

Approximately two-thirds of the audit staff are in the financial section, and one-third of staff are in the program evaluation section.[1]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

In 2012, the Wisconsin Auditor was paid an estimated $111,000. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.

Contact info

22 E. Mifflin Street, Suite 500
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-2818
Fax: (608) 267-0410
Email: leg.audit.info@legis.wisconsin.gov

See also

External links