- Internal Audit
In the role of County Auditor, the Clerk functions as the internal auditor for Citrus County, and has established the Internal Audit Department (IAD) to carry out that function. This department is independent of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and its Administration and conducts financial, compliance, operational, and performance audits.
Members of the Internal Audit Department hold various professional certifications, including Certified Government Auditing Professional and Certified Fraud Examiner. Internal Audit operates under the guidance of professional audit standards and professional codes of conduct. It provides independent, objective, and unbiased assessments of Citrus County operations. The department applies a systematic and disciplined approach to evaluating operational, compliance, and fiscal risks. It also examines management’s control practices and assesses strategic business governance activities.
As the audit function encompasses a large range of reviews, including highly specialized and technical subject matters, outside consultants are occasionally called upon to assist with audit engagements. Additionally, IAD may contract the services of external auditing firms and is responsible for the oversight of those engagements.
Additional duties of the IAD include auditing guardianship plans, inventories and accountings. Enhanced guardianship audits and investigations may be required when indications of fraud, waste, abuse, and financial mismanagement are suspected. This oversight helps to protect the elderly, incapacitated adults, and minor children within our community who are served by Florida Guardianship Law.
The Florida Constitution Article VIII, Section 1(d), and Florida Statutes 125.01(1)(s) and 136.08 establish the auditing authority for the Clerk. The Constitution specifically states, "the Clerk of the Circuit Court shall be ex officio clerk of the board of county commissioners, auditor, recorder and custodian of all county funds." The Clerk performs audits of county and clerk departments to evaluate the risk exposures related to safeguarding resources and taxpayer funds, the effectiveness and efficiency of operations and programs, the reliability and integrity of information, and compliance with laws and administrative regulations. The Clerk does not provide audit services to other constitutional officers unless under interlocal agreement.
The mission of the IAD is to serve the citizens and taxpayers of Citrus County through the performance of independent, objective reviews and evaluations of all operations within the Clerk and Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). This is accomplished under the guidance of internal audit standards developed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).
In performing these duties, the IAD will endeavor to provide assurance that management is achieving the best utilization and administration of taxpayer resources. These efforts are intended to improve county operations and to help ensure the county is fulfilling its fiduciary responsibilities to its citizens and taxpayers.
Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS) state, "In all matters relating to the audit work, the audit organization and the individual auditors, whether government or public, must be independent." Auditors must maintain both independence of mind and independence in appearance. The Clerk, an elected constitutional officer, functions independently from, and has no authority over, the BOCC and other elected officials; therefore, the audit function operates independently from those agencies.
Code of Ethics
Internal auditors are expected to uphold the principles of integrity, objectivity, confidentiality, and competency. These principles are set forth in the Code of Ethics by the IIA for the professional practice of internal auditing.
Following the conclusion of each BOCC audit, a written report, including management responses, will be prepared. The IAD reserves the right to comment on any response. Lack of management response will be noted in the final report. The final report is issued through the Clerk to the County Commissioners, the County Administrator, and appropriate county director.
Audits performed on Clerk operations are distributed to the Clerk and appropriate management. These reports are available through public records request.
Audit reports are considered confidential until the audit report is made public. According to Florida Statutes 119.0713 (2), "The audit report of an internal auditor prepared for or on behalf of a unit of local government becomes a public record when the audit becomes final. An audit becomes final when the audit report is presented to the unit of local government."