Office of the City Auditor - Frequently Asked Questions
What is the scope of work performed by the Dallas Office of the City Auditor?
The scope of activities carried out by the Office may relate to any phase of City activities where service may be rendered to the Dallas citizens, City Council, or City management, including activities such as:
Appraising the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of City organizations, programs, functions, and activities. Investigating allegations of wrongdoing received through the Fraud Hotline or indicated while performing other audit work.
Providing litigation support services to the City Attorney's Office, the Dallas County District Attorney and others representing the City; ascertaining the extent to which City assets are accounted for and safeguarded from losses of all kinds.
Ascertaining the extent of compliance with applicable laws and regulations and with established policies, plans, and procedures. Ascertaining the sufficiency, validity, and reliability of accounting and statistical data developed within the City.
Reviewing and appraising the soundness, adequacy and application of accounting, financial, and other operating controls and promoting effective controls at a reasonable cost.
How do I report the fraud, waste, or abuse of City of Dallas municipal government resources?
In 1992, the Dallas City Council authorized the Office of City Auditor to implement and operate the City of Dallas Fraud Hotline to create an environment to encourage early reporting of fraud, waste and abuse discovered by others.
The Dallas City Auditor’s Office in partnership with The Network, a technology company, has deployed an improved independent Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline Service for the City of Dallas. The new hotline service will be available to City employees, contractors and Dallas community members who want to anonymously report improper or illegal activities directly related to City of Dallas resources only. Multi-lingual calls will be accepted 24-hours a day, and seven days a week. All calls are confidential. The Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline may be accessed by: (1) calling a toll free phone number: (877-860-1061), or (2) through a confidential web based report.
Why does the City of Dallas need an auditor?
The City Auditor serves as an independent evaluator of City activities. The Office not only serves as a "watchdog" for the citizens of Dallas, but it also serves as a catalyst to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of City government. The Office assists the City Council and City management by reporting the effectiveness of various City operations and by providing recommendations as to how they can be improved.
The Office of City Auditor’s duties and responsibilities include monitoring and evaluating the City’s accounting and property records, funds and general accounting systems and conducting special audits and investigations. The City Auditor serves as an independent evaluator of City activities on behalf of the city council and citizens of Dallas. The Office assists the City Council and City management by reporting on the effectiveness of various City operations and by providing recommendations as to how they can be improved.
Why and how is the City Auditor independent?
Independence is paramount in performing the audit function, since it provides an atmosphere for objective and uninhibited appraisal. The City Auditor is independent of the City Manager's Office and all operations of the City because he/she is appointed by and reports directly to the City Council.
Where does the City Auditor get authority to audit?
The City Auditor's Office is an independent office created by the Dallas City Charter.The City Charter, which was established by a citizen vote, delineates the City Auditor's duties and responsibilities.
How does an area get selected for audit?
A risk-based approach is used to select areas included in the annual audit plan. Each area is analyzed for the following risk factors: internal environment, external environment, financial impact, and operational impact. After weighing the factors for their relative significance, an overall risk factor is computed for each area. In addition, audit hours are estimated for each area. After consideration of the staffing level available for the year, those areas rated the highest are recommended to the City Council in the audit plan for that year. The Office also considers allegations of fraud, waste, or abuse.In addition, the Mayor, City Council members, or the City Manager may request specific audits.
What takes place in an audit?
The audit process consists of planning, fieldwork (i.e., information gathering, testing, summarizing, and evaluating), and reporting. As part of planning, an initial entrance conference is held with the auditee. The culmination of fieldwork results in a draft audit report that includes the audit's purpose, scope, background, overall evaluation, and opportunities for improvement, if any. Opportunities for improvement include instances of noncompliance with laws and regulations, internal control weaknesses, and areas where economy and efficiency can be improved.
After the fieldwork is completed, a thorough quality review of the audit work papers is performed to ensure that work was performed as planned and is properly documented. The draft report is reviewed to ensure that conclusions and findings are supported by evidence maintained in the work papers. At the exit conference, the draft audit report is presented to the auditee for discussion. The auditee is allowed thirty days to provide a written response to the findings and recommendations.
Once the response is received, the City Auditor reviews it for adequacy, and may include comments. Responses and any comments from the Auditor are then incorporated in the report, and it is released to the City Council.
What occurs after an audit?
A follow-up audit is performed, no earlier than six months after the audit report is issued, to determine whether management has complied with the report recommendations. Except for the limitation on the scope of the work performed (limited to follow-up of findings in the original audit only), the follow-up is handled in the same manner described above for an audit.
What are the City Auditor's Office hours of operation?
The City Auditor's Office hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
How can I obtain copies of audit reports or contact someone in the Auditor's Office?
Audit Reports are presented on this site by calendar year. You may view these reports by clicking on the appropriate year. You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the reports. To obtain additional reports, you may contact our Office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or send your written request to 1500 Marilla Street, Room 2FN, Dallas, Texas 75201. Our telephone number is (214) 670-3223. Our fax number is (214) 670-0854.
How do I obtain a copy of the City's Annual Financial Report?
Contact the City Controller's Office at 1500 Marilla Street, City Hall, Room 3FN, Dallas, TX 75201.