County Auditor Overview
The County Auditor serves as an independent audit function, reporting to the Arlington County Board with additional guidance from the Audit Committee. The County Auditor conducts independent performance and operational audits of County departments, programs, and services. These audits focus on program efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency. Chris Horton is the current County Auditor.
The County Board appoints the County Auditor under the authority of § 15.2-709.2 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended. The County Board adopted a Board Charge in July 2015 establishing the position, and revised the Board Charge on June 20, 2017 to develop further the role of the County Auditor and the Audit Committee. The Board Charge serves as the Audit Charter and covers numerous topics. These topics include powers and duties; access to information; the use of Government Auditing Standards (Yellow Book Standards); and the composition, roles, and responsibilities of the Audit Committee.
Annual Audit Work Plans
The County Board approves the County Auditor’s Annual Audit Work Plan (Work Plan). The Work Plan is based on a risk assessment performed by the County Auditor, and refined in consultation with the Audit Committee. Information gathered in the risk assessment process included County data, such as budget documents, County Board work sessions. The County Auditor also had discussions with County Board members, management, and Audit Committee members. For the FY 2019 Work Plan, the County Auditor solicited input from the public. The Work Plan is designed to be flexible to respond to changing needs as they arise. The Work Plan may be altered during the year, in consultation with the County Board, Audit Committee, and County management. The Work Plans also include an Audit Horizon, which lists audits that could be performed in future years. Finally, Work Plans include non-audit activities, such as training, risk assessment activities, and contractor oversight.
Final Work Plans are provided below.
- Annual Audit Work Plan for FY 2019 – Approved June 19, 2018
- Annual Audit Work Plan for FY 2018 – Approved June 20, 2017
The Audit Committee provides guidance to the County Auditor and the County Board is considering risks that can be addressed in audits of County programs. The Audit Committee, which meets at least quarterly, plays a vital role in advising the County Auditor and the County Board on the Annual Audit Work Plan. The Audit Committee also receives annual updates from the County Internal Audit program, which resides in the Department of Management and Finance, and receives and annual update regarding the completed annual financial statement audit conducted by the County’s independent external auditor (currently Cherry Bekaert).
The Draft FY 2020 Annual Audit Work Plan was presented to the Audit Committee on April 1, 2019, and further discussion will occur with the Audit Committee on June 3, 2019. The Draft Audit Work Plan is available for review under the April 1, 2019 meeting materials on the Audit Committee webpage.
This section contains links to the full audit report, as well as two specific sections of the report: the Report Highlights and the Management Response. Within the first year after the publication date, the County Auditor will perform follow-up activities. The purpose of follow-up is to determine whether recommended actions have been implemented. The results of the completed follow-up reviews will also be publicly-issued and posted here.
|Full Report – Title and Number||Publication Date||Highlights Page||Management Response||Follow-up|
|Emergency Communications Center Overtime (Report 2018-01)||March 20, 2018||ECC Overtime – Report Highlights||ECC Overtime – Management Response|
Upcoming Audit Reports
- Fleet Management
- Fire Department Overtime
- Police Department Overtime
- Sheriff’s Department Overtime
- Economic Development Incentive Monitoring
County Auditor Policies and Procedures
The County Auditor has developed a policies and procedures manual, which serves as a reference for the County Auditor, any audit staff, and peer reviewers. The manual also helps to explain the County Auditor’s work to those outside of the program. The manual helps to set the environment for adherence to Generally Accepted Government Audit Standards, which are the professional standards used by the County Auditor. The manual is part of an overarching process of maintaining and communicating quality controls required under professional standards.
Internal Audit Services
In addition to the County Auditor, there is a County Internal Audit Program, which exists within the Department of Management and Finance. The Internal Audit Program is a combination of internal audit resources and external consulting services. More information about the Internal Audit program is available on its webpage, including the annual work plan and recent audit reports.
The County Auditor strives to work collaboratively with the Internal Audit Program to reduce duplication of effort and impact. However, a previous audit by the Internal Audit Program does not restrict the County Auditor’s ability to perform an audit in the same area, if deemed necessary by the County Board within the Annual Audit Work Plan.
Arlington Public Schools Internal Auditor
Arlington Public Schools (APS) has an internal auditor, separate from the County Auditor and the Department of Management and Finance’s Internal Audit Program. The APS Auditor reports to the APS Audit Committee, and ultimately to the APS School Board. This structure was developed to help the Internal Auditor remain independent of APS management. More information about the APS Internal Audit function is available on the APS website, including the current Audit Plan and recent APS audits.
The County Auditor does not audit APS programs, except as may be related to ongoing audits of County programs and activities.