Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 30. General Assembly
Subtitle .
Chapter 14. Auditor of Public Accounts
2/7/2023

Chapter 14. Auditor of Public Accounts.

§ 30-130. Election, term and compensation; vacancy.

The Auditor of Public Accounts shall be elected by the joint vote of the two houses of the General Assembly, for the term of four years, as provided in Article IV, Section 18 of the Constitution of Virginia, and he shall receive such compensation as may be appropriated by law for the purpose. In the event the office of Auditor of Public Accounts becomes vacant while the General Assembly is not in session, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission shall appoint a successor to serve until thirty days after the commencement of the next session of the General Assembly.

Code 1950, § 2-125; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-153; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 43; 1976, c. 697; 2001, c. 844.

§ 30-131. Official bonds.

The Auditor of Public Accounts and the employees in the office of the Auditor of Public Accounts shall be bonded in accordance with § 2.2-1840, conditioned upon the faithful discharge of their duties.

Code 1950, § 2-126; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-154; 2001, c. 844; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 152.

§ 30-132. Employment of assistants; location of offices.

A. The Auditor of Public Accounts may employ, with the approval of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, the necessary assistants to enable him to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

B. The office of the Auditor of Public Accounts shall be located in the City of Richmond, and he shall be provided with suitable offices for the conduct of the business of his department.

Code 1950, §§ 2-142, 2-143; 1966, c. 677, §§ 2.1-171, 2.1-172; 1972, c. 582; 1973, c. 507; 2001, c. 844.

§ 30-133. Duties and powers generally.

A. The Auditor of Public Accounts shall audit all the accounts of every state department, officer, board, commission, institution, or other agency handling any state funds as determined necessary by the Auditor of Public Accounts. In the performance of such duties and the exercise of such powers he may employ the services of certified public accountants, provided the cost thereof shall not exceed such sums as may be available out of the appropriation provided by law for the conduct of his office.

B. The Auditor of Public Accounts shall review the information required in § 2.2-1501 to determine that state agencies are providing and reporting appropriate information on financial and performance measures, and the Auditor shall review the accuracy of the management systems used to accumulate and report the results. The Auditor shall report to the General Assembly the results of such audits and make recommendations, if indicated, for new or revised accountability or performance measures to be implemented for the agencies audited.

C. The Auditor of Public Accounts shall prepare, by November 1, a summary of the results of all of the audits and other oversight responsibilities performed for the most recently ended fiscal year. The Auditor of Public Accounts shall present this summary to the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations, the House Committee on Appropriations, and the House Committee on Finance on the day the Governor presents to the General Assembly the Executive Budget in accordance with §§ 2.2-1508 and 2.2-1509 or at the direction of the respective Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations, the House Committee on Appropriations, or the House Committee on Finance at one of their committee meetings prior to the meeting above.

D. As part of his normal oversight responsibilities, the Auditor of Public Accounts shall incorporate into his audit procedures and processes a review process to ensure that the Commonwealth's payments to counties, cities, and towns under Chapter 35.1 (§ 58.1-3523 et seq.) of Title 58.1 are consistent with the provisions of § 58.1-3524. The Auditor of Public Accounts shall report to the Governor and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations annually any material failure by a locality or the Commonwealth to comply with the provisions of Chapter 35.1 of Title 58.1.

E. The Auditor of Public Accounts when called upon by the Governor shall examine the accounts of any institution maintained in whole or in part by the Commonwealth and, upon the direction of the Comptroller, shall examine the accounts of any officer required to settle his accounts with him; and upon the direction of any other state officer at the seat of government he shall examine the accounts of any person required to settle his accounts with such officer.

F. Upon the written request of any member of the General Assembly, the Auditor of Public Accounts shall furnish the requested information and provide technical assistance upon any matter requested by such member.

G. In compliance with the provisions of the federal Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996, Public Law 104-156, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission may authorize the Auditor of Public Accounts to audit biennially the accounts pertaining to federal funds received by state departments, officers, boards, commissions, institutions, or other agencies.

H. 1. The Auditor of Public Accounts shall compile and maintain on its Internet website a searchable database providing certain state expenditure, revenue, and demographic information as described in this subsection. In maintaining the database, the Auditor of Public Accounts shall work with and coordinate his efforts with the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission in obtaining, summarizing, and compiling the information to avoid duplication of efforts. The database shall be updated each year by October 15 to provide the information required in this subsection for the 10 most recently ended fiscal years of the Commonwealth.

The online database shall be made available to citizens of the Commonwealth to allow public access to historical revenue collections and appropriations with related demographic information, to the extent that the information is available and provided to the Auditor of Public Accounts. All state departments, courts officers, boards, commissions, institutions, or other agencies of the Commonwealth shall furnish all information requested by the Auditor of Public Accounts and shall cooperate with him to the fullest extent.

For purposes of reporting information and implementing the database pursuant to this subsection, the Auditor of Public Accounts shall include all appropriated funds and other sources under the control of public institutions of higher education, except for the activity of private gifts, including endowment funds and unrestricted gifts referenced in § 23.1-101. The exclusion of this activity does not affect the public access to these records unless otherwise specifically exempted by law.

2. The database shall contain the following for each of the 10 most recently ended fiscal years of the Commonwealth:

a. Major categories of spending by each secretariat and each agency and institution, including each independent agency, and including within each major category a register of all funds expended, showing vendor name, date of payment, amount, and a description of the type of expense, including credit card purchases with the same information to the extent that the information exists. The database shall include the name, phone number, and email address for a contact at the agency or institution who may be contacted for additional information;

b. The number of full-time state employees for whom the annual rate of pay is more than $10,000, an identifier associated with each such employee, and the actual salary, bonuses, and total compensation paid during the fiscal year to the employee associated with each identifier, organized by agency;

c. Total fiscal year revenues from all sources broken down by funding source and computed on a per capita basis and as a percentage of personal income in the Commonwealth;

d. Total fiscal year spending from federal sources broken down by major category;

e. Population estimates for the Commonwealth by locality;

f. Student enrollment in grades K through 12 by locality;

g. Enrollment in public institutions of higher education of the Commonwealth by institution;

h. Enrollment in private institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth by institution;

i. The annual prison population;

j. Virginia adjusted gross income and Virginia taxable income by locality;

k. The number of citizens in the Commonwealth receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program;

l. The number of driver's licenses issued;

m. The number of registered motor vehicles;

n. The number of full-time private sector employees;

o. The number of prepaid tuition contracts outstanding pursuant to Chapter 7 (§ 23.1-700 et seq.) of Title 23.1 and the estimated total liability under such contracts;

p. Any state audit or report relating to the programs or activities of an agency;

q. Information on capital outlay payments including project title, funding date, completion date, appropriations, year-to-date expenditures, and unexpended appropriations;

r. Annual bonded indebtedness that shall include the amount of the total original obligation stated in terms of principal and interest, the term of the obligation, the amounts of principal and interest previously paid to reduce the obligation, the balance remaining of the obligation, and any refinancing of the obligation; and

s. Other data as the Auditor deems appropriate relating to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

3. The Auditor of Public Accounts shall incorporate into the database the following additional elements as they become available through improved enterprise applications or other systems:

a. Commodities including line item expenditures;

b. Virginia Performs data as it directly relates to funding actions or expenditures;

c. Descriptive purpose for funding action or expenditure;

d. Statute or act of General Assembly authorizing the issuance of bonds; and

e. Copies of actual grants and contracts.

4. The Auditor of Public Accounts shall incorporate in the database the following enhancements:

a. Graphs, charts, or other visual displays of aggregated data showing (i) current state spending by expense category, (ii) year-to-year state spending, and (iii) other data deemed appropriate by the Auditor, including display of available line item expenditures; and

b. Frequently asked questions and their responses.

5. By October 15 of each year, the Auditor shall also produce a paper copy or a computer file containing the information described in this subsection and shall distribute the copy or file to newspapers of general circulation in the Commonwealth. The distribution shall include the address of the Internet website for the searchable database.

I. As a part of audits conducted pursuant to subsection A, the Auditor of Public Accounts shall review compliance with requirements established pursuant to the provisions of § 2.2-519 and the requirements of the Virginia Debt Collection Act (§ 2.2-4800 et seq.).

Code 1950, §§ 2-127, 2-132, 2-135; 1950, p. 664; 1966, c. 677, §§ 2.1-155, 2.1-160, 2.1-163; 1972, c. 582; 1973, c. 507; 1985, c. 315; 1998, Sp. Sess., c. 2; 2001, c. 844; 2002, c. 727; 2003, c. 270; 2004, Sp. Sess. I, c. 1; 2005, c. 494; 2007, c. 577; 2008, c. 637; 2009, cc. 758, 812; 2010, c. 671; 2016, c. 547; 2017, cc. 679, 681; 2018, cc. 57, 307, 601; 2019, c. 731; 2020, c. 646.

§ 30-133.1. Additional certifications for public institutions of higher education.

In addition to all other responsibilities and duties required under law, the Auditor of Public Accounts shall, promptly upon completion of the annual audit for each public institution of higher education, certify in writing to the Chairman of the Board of Visitors or other governing body of the institution, the Secretaries of Education, Finance, and Administration, and the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations, the House Committee on Finance, and the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations whether or not the institution meets all of the financial and administrative management standards currently in effect for public institutions of higher education pursuant to § 23.1-1001 and as may be included in the appropriation act currently in effect. In addition, for any public institution of higher education required to develop and implement a plan of corrective action under § 23.1-1001, the Auditor shall at the time of making the certification provide a written evaluation of the institution's progress in implementation of the plan and in meeting all of the financial and administrative management standards currently in effect.

For purposes of this section "public institution of higher education" means the same as that term is defined in § 23.1-100.

2005, cc. 933, 945.

§ 30-133.2. Annual review of the collection and distribution of retail sales and use taxes.

As part of the annual audit of the Department of Taxation, the Auditor of Public Accounts shall perform a review of the collection and distribution of the Retail Sales and Use Tax (§ 58.1-600 et seq.), with an important focus being the collection and distribution of local retail sales and use taxes. In addition to all other responsibilities and duties required under law, the Auditor of Public Accounts shall, promptly upon completion of the annual review, issue a report to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Appropriations, the House Committee on Finance, the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations, and the Commissioner of the Department of Taxation. All actions or requests for tax information by the office of the Auditor of Public Accounts for the purpose of conducting the review shall be deemed to be performed in the line of duty for purposes of § 58.1-3.

2011, c. 614.

§ 30-134. Audit of accounts of city and county officers handling state funds; audit report; reimbursement of expenses.

A. At least once in every two years, and at other times as the Governor directs, the Auditor of Public Accounts, either in person or through his assistants, shall audit all accounts and records of every city and county official and agency in the Commonwealth handling state funds, making a detailed written report thereof to the Governor, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, and appropriate local officials within thirty days after each audit. Reports so made shall be public records.

B. Every city and county, the accounts and records of whose officials or agencies are audited in accordance with subsection A, shall reimburse the Commonwealth to the extent of one-half of the expense connected with the audit, to be paid into the state treasury by the Auditor of Public Accounts. All such sums so repaid shall be placed by the Comptroller to the credit of the current appropriation made to the Auditor of Public Accounts and may be used by him for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of subsection A.

Code 1950, §§ 2-136, 2-137; 1966, c. 677, §§ 2.1-165, 2.1-166; 2001, c. 844.

§ 30-135. Inspection of accounts and vouchers.

A. The Auditor of Public Accounts or his deputy shall, from time to time, inspect and scrutinize the accounts and vouchers of all state officers referred to in § 2.2-803.

B. The Auditor of Public Accounts shall have access to records of all state institutions, departments and agencies and they shall furnish all information requested by the Auditor and shall cooperate with him to the fullest extent.

C. Every inspection authorized by this section may be made without notice to the official whose accounts are to be inspected, and it shall be the duty of the official whose books and accounts and vouchers are being inspected to produce such books, vouchers and accounts and give the Auditor of Public Accounts or his deputy all necessary help and aid in making the inspection. If any official fails to comply with the requirements of this subsection, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, §§ 2-132, 2-133; 1950, p. 664; 1966, c. 677, §§ 2.1-160, 2.1-161; 2001, c. 844.

§ 30-136. Power as to witnesses; perjury.

The Auditor of Public Accounts, or his deputy, while conducting any examination authorized by this chapter, shall have power to (i) administer an oath to any person whose testimony may be required in any such examination, and (ii) compel the appearance and attendance of such person for the purpose of any such examination and investigation, and (iii) call for any books and papers necessary to such examination. If any person willfully swears falsely in such examination he shall be guilty of perjury.

Code 1950, § 2-140; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-169; 2001, c. 844.

§ 30-137. Devising system of bookkeeping and accounting for local offices; costs.

A. The Auditor of Public Accounts, under the direction of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission shall devise a modern, effective and uniform system of bookkeeping and accounting for the use of all county, city and town officials and agencies handling the revenues of the Commonwealth or of any political subdivision thereof. The Auditor of Public Accounts may approve any existing system.

B. The Auditor of Public Accounts, when requested by the governing body of any unit of local government, may make and establish a system of bookkeeping and accounting for such unit which shall conform to generally accepted accounting principles. He shall make and establish a uniform system of fiscal reporting for the treasurers or other chief financial officers, clerks of the courts and school divisions of all counties and cities, and all towns having a population of 3,500 or more and all towns constituting a separate school division regardless of population.

C. The cost of such service shall be borne by the county or city receiving the service of the Auditor of Public Accounts and shall not exceed an amount sufficient to reimburse the Commonwealth for the actual cost to the Commonwealth of the service. The fees so charged, upon an account rendered by the Auditor of Public Accounts, shall be remitted by the treasurer of the county or city out of any funds within his control, within thirty days to the State Treasurer, together with the account rendered by the Auditor of Public Accounts. The Auditor of Public Accounts shall pay into the state treasury the amount so received to the credit of the funds of the Auditor of Public Accounts so that it may be available for carrying out the provisions of subsection B.

Code 1950, §§ 2-128, 2-138, 2-139; 1950, pp. 247, 692; 1958, c. 615; 1960, c. 237; 1966, c. 677, §§ 2.1-156, 2.1-167, 2.1-168; 1972, cc. 73, 582; 1973, c. 507; 1975, c. 323; 1979, c. 318; 1985, c. 315; 2001, c. 844.

§ 30-138. State agencies, courts, and local constitutional officers to report certain fraudulent transactions; penalty.

A. Upon the discovery of circumstances suggesting a reasonable possibility that a fraudulent transaction has occurred involving funds or property under the control of any state department, court, officer, board, commission, institution or other agency of the Commonwealth, including local constitutional officers and appointed officials exercising the powers of elected constitutional officers, as to which one or more officers or employees of state or local government may be party thereto, the state agency head, court clerk or local official in charge of such entity shall promptly report such information to the Auditor of Public Accounts (Auditor), the State Inspector General, and the Superintendent of State Police (Superintendent).

B. The Auditor, the State Inspector General, or the Superintendent shall review the information reported pursuant to subsection A and individually determine the most appropriate method to investigate the information. In the event that the Auditor, the State Inspector General, or the Superintendent determines to conduct an investigation, he shall notify the others of the commencement of the investigation as soon as practicable, unless the information involves the Auditor, the State Inspector General, or the Superintendent.

C. No state department, court, officer, board, commission, institution or other agency of the Commonwealth, including local constitutional officers and appointed officials exercising the powers of elected constitutional officers, shall employ or contract with any person, firm, corporation, or other legal entity to conduct an investigation or audit of information reported pursuant to subsection A without obtaining the prior written approval from the Auditor and the Superintendent. Pending acknowledgement of the report and receipt of the written approval from the Auditor and the Superintendent, the state department, court, officer, board, commission, institution, or other agency of the Commonwealth, including local constitutional officers and appointed officials exercising the powers of elected constitutional officers, may use their employees to audit the circumstances reported in subsection A to prevent the loss of assets.

D. All state departments, courts, officers, boards, commissions, institutions or other agencies of the Commonwealth, including local constitutional officers and appointed officials exercising the powers of elected constitutional officers and their employees, shall cooperate to the fullest extent in any investigation or audit which may occur at the direction of the Auditor or the Superintendent or both as a result of information reported pursuant to subsection A.

E. The willful failure to make the report as required by this section shall constitute a Class 3 misdemeanor.

F. Nothing herein shall affect the requirements of § 52-8.2.

1984, c. 421, § 2.1-155.3; 1997, c. 825; 2001, c. 844; 2011, cc. 798, 871.

§ 30-139. To whom Auditor to report defaults or irregularities.

If, at any time, the Auditor of Public Accounts discovers any unauthorized, illegal, irregular, or unsafe handling or expenditure of state funds, or if comes to his attention that any unauthorized, illegal, or unsafe handling or expenditure of state funds is contemplated but not consummated, he shall promptly report the facts to the Governor, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission and the Comptroller.

In case there is any irregularity in the accounts of the Comptroller, the Auditor shall report it to the Governor and the General Assembly.

Code 1950, § 2-141; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-170; 2001, c. 844.

§ 30-140. Certain political subdivisions to file report of audit; period in which report kept as public record; when audit not required; sworn statement of exempted entities; publication of summary of financial condition; repeal of conflicting provisions.

A. Each authority, commission, district, or other political subdivision the members of whose governing body are not elected by popular vote shall annually, within five months after the end of its fiscal year, have an audit performed covering its financial transactions for such fiscal year according to the specifications of the Auditor of Public Accounts and file with the Auditor of Public Accounts a copy of the report, unless exempted in accordance with subsection B.

Each authority, commission, district, or other political subdivision the members of whose governing body are not elected by popular vote and which is reported in the Commonwealth's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report as determined by the State Comptroller and the Auditor of Public Accounts shall annually, within three months after the end of its fiscal year, have an audit performed covering its financial transactions for such fiscal year according to the specifications of the Auditor of Public Accounts and file with the Auditor of Public Accounts a copy of the report, unless exempted in accordance with subsection B.

The Auditor of Public Accounts shall receive such reports required by this subsection and keep the same as public records for a period of 10 years from their receipt.

B. No audit, however, shall be required for any fiscal year during which such entity's financial transactions did not exceed the sum of $25,000.

As used in this section, "financial transactions" shall not include financial transactions involving notes, bonds, or other evidences of indebtedness of such entity the proceeds of which are held or advanced by a corporate trustee or other financial institution and not received or disbursed directly by such entity.

In the event an audit is not required, the entity shall file a statement under oath certifying that the transactions did not exceed such sum and, as to all transactions involving notes, bonds, or other evidences of indebtedness that are exempted, the statement shall be accompanied by an affidavit from the trustee or financial institution certifying that it has performed the duties required under the agreement governing such transactions. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Auditor of Public Accounts may require an audit if he deems it to be necessary to determine the propriety of the entity's financial transactions.

In the case of a water and sewer authority required by a governing body to have an audit conducted as specified in § 15.2-5145, the authority shall file the certified audit with the Auditor of Public Accounts.

At the time the report required by this section is filed with the Auditor of Public Accounts every such authority, commission, district, or other political subdivision, except those exempted from the audit report requirement, shall publish, in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, city, or town wherein the authority, commission, district, or other political subdivision is located, a summary statement reflecting the financial condition of the authority, commission, district, or other political subdivision, which shall include a reference to where the detailed statement may be found.

Any provision of law, general or special, which by its terms requires an audit that is not required by this section shall be repealed to the extent of any conflict.

Code 1950, § 2-135.1; 1956, c. 298; 1958, c. 534; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-164; 1978, c. 617; 1981, c. 547; 1982, c. 631; 2001, c. 844; 2014, c. 509; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 127.

§ 30-141. Annual report.

The Auditor of Public Accounts shall make an annual report of the activities of his office to the Governor and the General Assembly.

Code 1950, § 2-144; 1966, c. 677, § 2.1-172.1; 2001, c. 844.

§ 30-142. Assumption of duties by Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission upon failure of Auditor to perform; procedure.

Whenever the General Assembly is not in session, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission may perform any of the duties of the Auditor of Public Accounts upon its determination that the Auditor is unable or unwilling to perform any of his duties by reason of incapacity, malfeasance in office, neglect of duty, conflict of interest, or criminal activity relating to the performance of his duties. Such action shall, after notice to the Auditor of Public Accounts and an opportunity to be heard, require a three-fifths vote of all Commission members and shall be effective until the House of Delegates, acting at the next regular or special session of the General Assembly, determines whether to institute impeachment proceedings against the Auditor, as provided in Article IV, Section 17 of the Constitution of Virginia or until the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, by a majority vote of its membership, determines that the Auditor of Public Accounts can resume the performance of his duties. Upon institution of impeachment proceedings by the House of Delegates, the Commission may continue to perform such duties until the conclusion of impeachment proceedings.

1979, c. 441, § 2.1-155.2; 2001, c. 844.