Alaska Legislative Budget and Audit Committee

How to Request an Audit

For more information, contact:
Representative Chris Tuck, Chair (907) 465-2095
Kris Curtis, Legislative Auditor (907) 465-3830

  • Requesting a Special Audit

    A special audit may be requested by any member of the Legislature as provided in AS 24.20.281. The law requires that the request be made in writing to the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee (LBA) and with at least a six-day notice. Before a legislator requests a special audit under AS 24.20.281, he or she should be aware of what constitutes an audit, how the review is conducted, the capabilities and limitations of the LBA staff, and the report release process instituted by the Committee. In addition, the requestor should be aware of the other legislative agencies that could possibly satisfy the request in a more expedient and appropriate manner.
  • Capabilities of the Legislative Audit Division

    Under Title 24, the primary duties of the Division of Legislative Audit include performing two general types of audits:
    1. The financial compliance post-audit, which includes analyzing the financial operations of a state agency.
    2. Performance audits, to determine whether state entities are managing or utilizing their resources in an economical and efficient manner, and whether desired program results are being achieved. Performance audits are special audits conducted at the request of the Committee.
    To accomplish these responsibilities, the Division of Legislative Audit primarily hires professionals that have been schooled in accounting and electronic data processing, and who have the ability to compile and/or analyze financial information, statistical data, and other agency documents under professionally established standards. Inherent within these standards is thorough and accurate documentation, which is always time-consuming. In addition, the LBA Committee has established report release procedures that include giving the auditee an opportunity to formally respond to the audit. As a result, it takes approximately 30 days from the time the Committee receives the report in its preliminary form for the report to be publicly released. When the Legislature is not in session, additional time may be required, depending on the Committee’s meeting schedule. During the interim, a special audit may take from two to six months to complete (from the time of the request to the final public release of the report), depending upon the nature of the audit, the workload of the Audit Division, and the meeting schedule of the Committee.
  • Capabilities of other Legislative Agencies

    Following is a list of legislative agencies that are also available to legislators for obtaining various types of information and assistance.
    1. Office of the Ombudsman (Kate Burkhart, Ombudsman, 269-5290) Under AS 24.55.100, the Ombudsman has jurisdiction to investigate any agency when there is reason to believe administrative actions have been handled improperly. The Ombudsman’s jurisdiction is very broad and includes all three branches of government. It also includes Home Rule and General Law municipalities. The Office of the Ombudsman typically receives the majority of its caseload from individual citizens of the State.
    2. Legislative Legal and Research Services (Megan Wallace, Director, 465-3867) Staffed with professional attorneys, Legislative Legal Services operates within the Legislative Affairs Agency established under the Legislative Council. Legal Services has statutory history and revision information and has the expertise to furnish legislators with legal opinions and statutory interpretations. It provides bill drafting services for the Legislature.The Division of Legislative Research was merged with the Legislative Legal Services Division to form Legislative Legal and Research Services.Legislative Legal and Research Services provides research and information services to both houses of the legislature. The Agency is nonpartisan and equally accessible by the majority and minority legislators of both houses. It is a source of independent, objective information, research, and analysis on a wide variety of subjects.
    3. Legislative Finance Division (David Teal, Legislative Fiscal Analyst, 465-3795) Established under the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee, this Division analyzes budget requests of State agencies and provides the finance committees with comprehensive budget review and fiscal analysis.
  • Points to Consider

    Prior to requesting a special audit, legislators are encouraged to contact the Legislative Auditor to discuss the specific concern. Oftentimes, information needed by the legislator is already available either as a result of a previous audit or based on the Legislative Audit Division’s general knowledge of the operation of state government. If a previous audit has not been conducted, the Legislative Auditor can often be successful in getting agencies to provide the information you need to make an initial assessment of needing an audit. If the Auditor believes your request can be more appropriately handled by another agency, she can help you make that initial contact as well. If, after talking with the Auditor you remain certain an audit is needed, the Auditor is available to help in drafting an audit request for submission to the Legislative Budget and Audit (LBA) Committee. In evaluating special audit requests, the Committee will be considering the points outlined below. If the answer to any question is “yes,” the requestor may consider obtaining the desired information from one of the other legislative agencies.
    1. Is the subject matter of the request presently under litigation or judicial proceedings? The Committee has been cautious about interfering with judicial due process.
    2. Is the request for information of such a nature that it can readily be obtained directly from state agencies or state records?
    3. Is the request from a citizen-complaint of such a nature that it would be more appropriately investigated by the Office of the Ombudsman? If so, has the constituent exhausted the administrative appeals process available, if any?
    4. Is the request for an audit based on any activities of, or monies expended by, Legislators, their staff, or any legislative agencies? Legislators should direct the concern or request to the Rules Committee, the President or Speaker, or the Legislative Council, as appropriate.
    5. Does the request require the Legislative Audit Division to draw conclusions as to major public policy issues? While it is appropriate for the Division to provide information assisting the Legislature in the review of the issues, final policy decisions should appropriately remain the responsibility of the Legislature.
  • Completing the Request

    After reviewing the alternate agencies available, if a special audit is still desired, the requestor should keep in mind that the LBA Committee needs a clear understanding of the issues needing investigation. A written request to the Committee Chairman should provide (1) the specific scope of work and (2) the reasoning behind the requested review. In the event your request is unclear, or the Committee needs additional information, you will be asked for further written detail or asked to make a presentation at the next Committee meeting. If you have questions about these instructions, please contact the Chairman or the Legislative Auditor.