Division of Inspector General
The mission of the Division of Inspector General is to serve the citizens and taxpayers of the county as an independent and objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve operations under the Board of County Commissioners (BCC). The Division supports the BCC in accomplishing its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.
By authority of the Constitution of the State of Florida, Article VIII, Section 1(d), the Clerk of the Circuit Court (Clerk) serves as county auditor. Recognizing the importance of government compliance with laws, policies, established procedures and accountability for the use of public funds while exercising its authority and performing its duties, the Clerk has established and maintains the Division of Inspector General.
Since the Clerk is an elected Constitutional Officer, and is thus responsible to the citizens and taxpayers of Lake County, the Clerk is independent of those activities under the BCC. The Division of Inspector General reports directly to the Clerk and has no direct responsibility to or authority over any area subject to its audit and review. Therefore, the department is organizationally independent from those areas which it will be auditing and reviewing.
The Division of Inspector General has the authority and responsibility to conduct audits and reviews of all departments, programs and functions funded by the BCC and to issue reports thereon. However, this authority does not extend to other constitutional officers according to Attorney General Opinion No. 86-38 which states: “Until legislatively or judicially determined otherwise, the clerk of circuit court as ex officio county auditor is not authorized to perform post-audit functions on the records of other constitutional officers.”
The Division of Inspector General has the responsibility to conduct all audits in accordance with professional standards. These include but are not limited to the “International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing” and the “Code of Ethics” published by the Institute of Internal Auditors.
The Clerk will be responsible for ensuring that personnel assigned to perform internal audits will be proficient in applying internal auditing standards and adhering to the Code of Ethics of the Institute of Internal Auditors. A quality assurance program as recommended by the Institute of Internal Auditors shall be established and followed.
To facilitate accuracy and completeness of audits and reviews, it is necessary that the Division of Inspector General have access to all relevant resources. Accordingly, the Division shall have access to all records including, but not limited to, books, records, files, papers, documents and information stored electronically relating to any department, program or function of the BCC. The auditors shall be prudent in the use and protection of documents and information acquired in the course of their duties as required by the Code of Ethics.
The Division of Inspector General may employ consultants, staff assistants, or use the services of public accounting firms as may be necessary for the conduct of auditing responsibilities. Where appropriate and with BCC approval, the cost of outside services may be billed to the auditee. This document shall not prohibit the BCC or County Manager from obtaining independent outside consultants as considered necessary.
The Inspector General will be responsible for preparing an audit plan for each fiscal year. This plan should include the departments, programs and functions to be audited. The plan should be developed based on a risk assessment, undertaken at least annually, and should include the input of the BCC and County Manager. The plan will be approved by the Clerk and presented to the BCC and County Manager for their approval; however, nothing contained herein shall limit the Clerk from performing his statutory responsibilities in safeguarding county assets.
Scope of Work
The Division of Inspector General will examine and evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of an organization’s systems of internal control and the procedures used to carry out assigned responsibilities. This process includes:
Reviewing the reliability and integrity of financial and operating information and the means used to identify, measure, classify and report such information.
- Reviewing systems established to insure compliance with those policies, plans, procedures, laws and regulations which could have a significant impact on operations.
- Reviewing the means of safeguarding assets and, as appropriate, verifying the existence of such assets.
- Investigating instances of alleged fraud, waste or abuse, and assisting law enforcement authorities as appropriate. The Division of Inspector General should be notified of all such incidents.
- Appraising the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness with which resources are employed and reviewing management's operational internal controls.
- Reviewing operations to ascertain whether the results are consistent with established objectives and goals and whether the operations are being carried out as planned.
- Conducting follow-up reviews of audits to determine whether recommendations have been implemented.
- Conducting audits and reviews not included in the annual audit plan as requested by the BCC, County Manager and other officials as resources and priorities allow.
Following the conclusion of each audit, a written report will be prepared by the Division of Inspector General and issued through the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court to each county commissioner, the County Manager, and the head of the auditee organization. These reports will contain, as applicable, the responses of the auditee to each audit recommendation. Responses will be included in the report as written and the Division of Inspector General reserves the right, if necessary, to comment on any response. If responses are not received within the prescribed time period and no alternative arrangements are made, the report will be issued without responses.
According to Section 119.0713 (2), Florida Statutes, “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.”