Why is there an Austin Auditor?

The Austin City Charter requires there to be a city auditor appointed by the City Council. The city auditor’s staff conducts audits that follow government auditing standards. The auditor reports to the City Council via the Audit and Finance Committee.

What are government auditing standards?

Our office follows audit standards so our work is independent and free of bias. These standards inform how we hire and train staff. They include requirements for how we do our work and report results. We also have a formal quality control process that includes many levels of review. Every three years, other auditors audit our process to let us know what we are doing right and what we can do better. Auditors at every level of government use these standards to perform their work.

What does the Austin Auditor do?

The auditor’s office works to make Austin better for all residents. Our staff conducts audits and investigations to help find ways for the City to improve. We also follow-up on audit recommendations and conduct special request projects. Every ten years, we have duties related to the independent process that results in new Council districts.

  • Audits – When people hear the word "audit," they may only think of dollars and cents. We conduct a different kind of audit called a "performance audit." This type of audit helps leaders know what they are doing right and what they can do better.
  • Follow-Up on Recommendations – We work with City management to test the status of recommendations from prior audits.
  • Investigations – We have a team in our office that investigates possible wrongdoing in the City. This includes fraud, waste, or abuse by City employees or contractors. 
  • Special Requests – We conduct special request projects requested by members of the City Council. These projects answer specific questions and do not involve recommendations for improvement.
  • Redistricting – This is an independent process that results in new City Council districts after each national census. The Austin City Charter requires the City Auditor to widely publicize a process that creates a diverse pool of applicants for two groups. The first group (Applicant Review Panel) selects the most qualified applicants for the second group (Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission) that draws the Council district lines. The City Auditor makes sure members of both groups are selected according to City Charter requirements.  Read more about the current redistricting process.
How do you conduct your work?

Our auditors work with City management and others to understand the subject of the audit. We gather information to compare how things are working with how they should work. When there is a difference, we recommend ways to improve. Audits do not consider all possible issues, but focus on the main issues involved.

For investigations, we receive reports of suspected wrongdoing. Our investigators collect information to answer two questions: 

  1. Is the reported issue something we can investigate? If not, we send the issue to someone who can address it. If so, we move to the second question.
  2. Is there merit to the reported wrongdoing? If so, we open a case and work with City departments or law enforcement organizations, when necessary.
How do you communicate the results of your work?

We publish most of our reports so everyone can see the results of our work. We also present the results of our work at meetings of the Audit and Finance Committee. For confidential audits under State law, we do not publish the results. Instead, we post a notice about what work we did. We also communicate those results to management and Audit and Finance Committee members.

How do you select what projects you do?

Each year, we identify what audits we will conduct in our Audit Plan. We rely on input from City leaders and community members to create this plan. We welcome any suggestions or other input about what audits we should do.

For investigations, we respond to reports of suspected wrongdoing. To report suspected wrongdoing in the City, please contact our team.

How can I connect with the Austin Auditor?

You can reach us via telephone at 512-974-2805.  Our e-mail address is AustinAuditor@austintexas.gov.

You can also follow our social media accounts. We are currently on:

You can make a difference in your community by suggesting an audit idea.

You can also report suspected wrongdoing by submitting an anonymous form, calling 512-974-2798, or e-mailing our team at oca_integrityunit@austintexas.gov.