Section 32.01. Office Established; County Auditor.
- There is
established within the legislative branch an office of the county auditor, to be
headed by a county auditor who shall be appointed by the county council and
shall serve for a period of six years, and thereafter, until a successor is
appointed. The salary commission shall fix the salary of the county auditor. The
county council, by two-thirds vote of its membership, may remove the county
auditor from office at any time for cause.
- The county auditor
shall possess adequate professional proficiency for the office, demonstrated by
relevant certification, such as certification as a certified internal auditor or
certified public accountant, or have an advanced degree in a relevant field with
at least five years experience in the field of government auditing, evaluation,
or analysis. A certified internal auditor or certified public accountant shall
be preferred. The county auditor shall have a bachelor’s degree in accounting,
business administration, or public administration or related field. If financial
statement audits are conducted, the county auditor shall be a certified public
- Except for
exercising the right to vote, neither the auditor nor any member of the office
of the county auditor shall support, advocate, or aid in the election or defeat
of any candidate for county public office.
- The county auditor
may appoint the necessary staff for which appropriations have been made by the
county council. Subject to the provisions of this charter and applicable rules
and regulations adopted thereunder, the county auditor shall have the same
powers with respect to the personnel of the office of the county auditor as
department heads have over their personnel. Staff shall be appointed by the
county auditor in a manner consistent with the merit principles, devoid of any
bias or prejudice.
Section 32.02. Powers, Duties, and Functions
- Pursuant to County
Charter Article III, Section 3.17, Investigation, the county council is
empowered to establish the office of county auditor. It shall be the duty of the
auditor to conduct or cause to be conducted:
- The independent annual
or biennial audit of all county funds and accounts to be conducted by a
certified public accountant or firm of certified public accountants as required
by Section 3.12 of the county charter;
- Performance audits of
the funds, programs, and operations of any agency or operation of the county as
requested by the council by resolution, as authorized by Section 3.12;
- Performance and
financial audits of the funds, programs, and operations of any agency or
operation of the county, as determined by the county auditor to be warranted.
Before the commencement of each fiscal year, a plan of the audits proposed to be
conducted by the county auditor during the fiscal year shall be transmitted to
the county council for review and comment, but not approval. The plan also shall
be transmitted to the mayor and filed with the county clerk as public record;
- Follow-up audits and
monitoring of compliance with audit recommendations by audited entities. The
county auditor shall conduct or cause to be conducted all audits in accordance
with government auditing standards.
- Audit findings and
recommendations shall be set forth in written reports of the county auditor, a
copy of which shall be transmitted to the mayor and to the county council and
filed with the county clerk as public record.
- For the purposes of
carrying out any audit, the county auditor shall have full, free, and
unrestricted access to any county officer or employee and shall be authorized to
examine and inspect any record of any agency or operation of the county, to
administer oaths and subpoena witnesses and compel the production of records
pertinent thereto. If any person subpoenaed as a witness or compelled to produce
records shall fail or refuse to respond thereto, the proper court, upon the
request of the county auditor, shall have the power to compel obedience to any
process of the county auditor and to punish, as a contempt of the court, any
refusal to comply therewith without good cause. The county auditor may retain
special counsel, in the manner authorized by the county council, to represent
the county auditor in implementing these powers. False swearing by any witness
shall constitute perjury and shall be referred by the county auditor to the
prosecuting attorney for prosecution. In any audit which concerns the alleged
gross misconduct or alleged criminal conduct on the part of any individual, such
individual shall have the right to be represented by counsel and the right to
have the county auditor compel the attendance of witnesses on behalf of the
- The county
auditor’s performance shall be evaluated annually by the county council. The
county auditor’s audit activities shall be subject to quality review in
accordance with applicable government auditing standards by a professional,
nonpartisan, objective group. The written report of the independent review shall
be transmitted to the county council and mayor and filed with the county clerk
as public record.
- For the purpose of
this section and section 3.12: “An agency or operation of the county” includes
any administrative agency, semi-autonomous agency, council office, and other
establishment of county government supported, in whole or in part, by county or
"Council office" includes the county council itself, the
office of a councilmember and the councilmember’s immediate staff, the office of
the county clerk. This definition applies only to those sections. It shall not
be construed as excluding the office of the county auditor and the legislative
"Record" includes any account, book, paper, and document, and any
financial affair, notwithstanding whether any of the preceding is stored on
paper or electronically.
Section 32.03. Audit Committee.
- The county council
may establish an audit committee, the members of which shall individually advise
the county auditor on the following: formulation of the plan of audits proposed
to be conducted by the county auditor pursuant to Section 32.02 C; conduct of
audits, follow up of audits; selection of private contractors to perform audits
for the county auditor; evaluation of preliminary audit findings and
recommendations and county agency, officer, or employee responses to the
preliminary findings and recommendations; and evaluation of the county auditor’s
performance during each fiscal year. If established, the audit committee shall
consist of five members.
- One member shall be the
chair of the county council committee with jurisdiction over the administrative
budget ordinances; and
- The other members shall
be appointed by the county council. The county council shall appoint members who
are qualified by experience, expertise, and independence to perform the duties
of the audit committee. A member appointed by the county council shall not hold
any other office or position with the county while on the audit committee. The
method of appointment, terms, and specific qualifications of the appointed
members shall be established by the county council by ordinance or rule. The
county council also may establish by ordinance or rule provisions for the
removal of an appointed member for cause. The audit committee shall be within
the office of the county auditor.
- Members of the
audit committee shall advise the county auditor. All audit committee meetings
shall be open to the public except as provided for in Chapter 92, Hawai‘i
- The chair of the
audit committee shall be appointed by the county council in the manner provided
by ordinance or rule. A meeting of audit committee may be called by the
committee chair or county auditor.
- Members appointed
by the county council shall not be entitled to compensation for serving on the
committee. The member from the county council shall not be entitled to
compensation for serving on the committee that is additional to the compensation
received as a councilmember. All members, however, shall be entitled to be
reimbursed for travel and other necessary expenses incurred by them in the
performance of their official duties.
- Section 23.02.
Boards and Commissions shall not apply to the members of the audit committee.
Section 32.04. Transition Provision concerning the Transfer of Audit
Functions to the Office of the County Auditor.
- All lawful
obligations and liabilities owed by or to the office of the county clerk
relating to financial and performance audits on June 30, 2009 shall remain in
effect on July 1, 2009. The obligations and liabilities shall be assumed by the
office of the county auditor. All contracts held by the office of the county
clerk relating to financial and performance audits, which are to remain
effective after June 30, 2009, shall be assumed by the office of the county
auditor. The contracts shall continue in effect until fulfilled or lawfully
terminated. All financial and performance audit activities administered by the
office of the county clerk on June 30, 2009, shall be assumed by the office of
the county auditor on July 1, 2009.
- On July 1, 2009,
all records, data, and information held by the office of the county clerk
relating to financial and performance audits which have not been completed as of
June 30, 2009 shall be transferred to the office of the county auditor.
- The legislative
auditor (program analyst V) and program support tech positions in the office of
the county clerk on June 30, 2009 shall continue with the office of the county
auditor on July 1, 2009. These employees, if positions were already filled,
shall continue service without any loss of vacation allowance, sick leave,
service credits, retirement benefits, or other rights and privileges because of
the charter amendments. Nothing in this subsection, however, shall be construed
as preventing future changes in the employee’s status pursuant to the county
auditor’s powers with respect to personnel in the office of the county auditor.