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Authority & Responsibility

Powers & Duties

The San José City Charter prescribes the powers and duties of the Auditor's Office. Section 805 of the charter grants to the City Council the authority to appoint the city auditor.  The charter also outlines the city auditor's primary duties as follows:

  • Conduct, or cause to be conducted, annual post audits of all the City's fiscal transactions and accounts kept by or for the City including the examination and analysis of fiscal procedures and the examination, checking, and verification of accounts and expenditures
  • Conduct City Council-assigned performance audits to determine whether (1) City resources are being used in an economical, effective, and efficient manner; (2) established objectives are being met; and (3) desired results are being achieved
  • Conduct City Council-assigned special audits and investigations
  • Submit a monthly report to the City Council of the office activities, findings, and recommendations to improve the administration of the City's fiscal affairs; and
  • Perform other such auditing functions consistent with the City Charter and submit reports as required.

Section 805 also grants the city auditor access and authority to examine all records of any City department, office, or agency, except those of an elected official.

The City Auditor works independently from the City Manager and serves the City Council and the residents of the City of San José.

Key Responsibilities

The following are some of the City Auditor’s key responsibilities as outlined in the City of San José Municipal Code:

  • The City Auditor shall have access to, and authority to examine any and all documents including but not limited to books, accounts, internal memoranda, writings and tapes, reports, vouchers, correspondence files and other records, bank accounts, money and other property of any City department, office or agency, whether created by the charter or otherwise, with the exception of the office of any elected official
  • Prepare and submit a monthly report of the city auditor’s activities and findings in the immediately preceding calendar month, together with any recommendations to improve the administration of the City
  • Perform other auditing functions, consistent with other provisions of the City Charter, and prepare and submit such other reports, as may be assigned by the council

The City Auditor presents audit reports in public meetings of the Public Safety, Finance, and Strategic Support Committee, or to the full City Council and/or other appropriate city council committees.  The City Manager and/or responsible department heads also make comments at that time.  If there are disagreements about the findings or recommendations, our office will attempt to resolve the disagreements and/or explain the disagreement in the audit report.  The committee accepts the report and approves recommendations by majority vote.  Their action is subject to ratification by the City Council either as part of the committee report (usually 1-2 weeks later) or as a separate City Council agenda item.


03-16-17 League of Women Voters Interview with former City Auditor - Sharon Erickson