About The Office of The Auditor General

Mission Statement

Our mission is to improve the accountability for public funds and to improve State government operations for the benefit of Michigan’s citizens. We best accomplish our mission by committing to total quality; by adhering to the professional standards of the auditing profession; and by promoting an atmosphere of mutual trust, honesty, and integrity among OAG staff and the people we serve.

Responsibility

The OAG has the responsibility, as stated in Article 4, Section 53 of the State Constitution, to conduct post financial and performance audits of State government operations. In addition, certain sections of the Michigan Compiled Laws contain specific audit requirements in conformance with the constitutional mandate.

Government officials and employees are accountable to the citizens of the State of Michigan for the proper handling of public funds and are responsible for managing State resources effectively, efficiently, and economically. OAG audit reports provide a continuing flow of information to assist the Legislature in its oversight of approximately 100 individual State funds and an annual budget of over $55 billion. OAG audit reports also provide citizens with a measure of accountability and assist department administrators by providing an independent and objective evaluation of their operations. The OAG’s overall goal is to improve accounting and financial reporting practices and promote effectiveness, efficiency, and economy in State government.

We perform audit activities in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Government Auditing Standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States.

OAG Operation

The OAG is under the direction and control of the Auditor General, Doug A. Ringler. Mr. Ringler is the principal executive and has ultimate responsibility for OAG policies and practices. He was appointed in June 2014.

The Auditor General appointed Laura J. Hirst as Deputy Auditor General in August 2014. Ms. Hirst also serves as the Director of Audit Operations and acts as the Auditor General’s principal aide in carrying out the management responsibilities and audit activities of the OAG.

The OAG is organizationally divided into four areas of responsibility:

The Bureau of Audit Operations is responsible for conducting post financial and performance audits of the State of Michigan’s executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, including its universities and community colleges. The Bureau also performs specific reviews in response to legislative requests. In addition, the Bureau participates in joint National State Auditors Association audits with other states’ audit agencies.

The Office of Professional Practice is responsible for performing quality assurance reviews of audit reports and working papers, editing the audit reports, and conducting accounting and auditing research.

The Office of Information Technology is responsible for managing the OAG network, and providing software assistance and computer support to all OAG staff.

The Office of Administration is responsible for human resource management, accounting and budgeting, audit report production, and office-wide printing, purchasing, and clerical support.

In addition, the OAG’s Fraud Investigative Services Team, organizationally housed in the Executive Division, further expands the scope of citizen protection in Michigan by administering a fraud, waste, and abuse hotline and conducting investigative audits concerning allegations of improper conduct by State government officials, State employees, and entities receiving State money or other support.

As of January 1, 2017, the Office of the Auditor General had 159 employees, comprised of audit, IT, administration, and support service professionals.

Continuous Quality Improvement Efforts

The OAG’s continuous quality improvement initiatives assist in developing quality improvement goals to focus efforts on providing timely and relevant audit services and reports. Measures to monitor progress in meeting these goals are also developed. Each of the organizational areas within the OAG has developed improvement goals and objectives and performance measurement indicators. The OAG is committed to its continuous quality initiatives as it strives for further improvements in the future.

OAG Contact With the Legislature

The audit report is the formal written contact that the OAG has with the Legislature. Upon request the OAG provides legislative briefings to key members of oversight and appropriations committees and other members of the Legislature who have expressed a particular interest in specific topics or audit reports.Periodically, the briefings result in OAG staff testifying at related hearings. Also, the Auditor General or his designee testifies on audit-related activities, as requested by the Legislature.

Furthermore, the OAG employs a State Relations Officer, whose primary responsibility is to enhance communication and effective relationships with the Legislature, the legislative leadership, and the Executive Office. The State Relations Officer also facilitates communication with the legislative fiscal agencies, the judicial branch, State departments, and universities and community colleges.