Skip to Main Content

Our Purpose

Responsibility, Authority & Standards

The City Auditor’s Office examines City operations and programs and makes recommendations to correct issues found. The elected City Auditor is independent from the Mayor, the City Council, and the City Administration, which allows the Office to be objective and impartial in its work. 

The Office’s work shines light on City operations and programs so Oakland residents, businesses, officials, and the general public can see: 1) what their government does, 2) how well their government performs, and 3) how their government can improve. 

The Office conducts the following work: 

  • Performance audits are independent and objective analyses that make recommendations to management and those charged with governance and oversight on how to improve economy, efficiency, effectiveness, equity, and public accountability. Some audits are mandated by the City Charter and Municipal Code, while others emerge from the City Auditor’s consideration of risk, emerging issues, and community concerns. 
  • Investigations. The City Auditor investigates allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse affecting or involving City of Oakland resources, employees, officials, or contractors.  
  • Recommendation follow-up reports. The Office regularly follows up on the status of recommendations from previous audits, and publicly reports on the status. 
  • Ballot measure analyses. The Office prepares financial ballot analyses for proposed legislation in accordance with the City Charter. 
  • Annual reports. The Office prepares and issues annual reports to summarize audit activities performed by the Office. The Whistleblower Program Annual Report gives an overview of the Program’s achievements and investigation results. 
  • Special requests. The Office conducts analyses and reviews requested from the City Council. 

City Charter Section 403 outlines the responsibilities of the City Auditor. 

Audit Standards

The Office of the City Auditor adheres to the Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS) ensuring the consistent application of audit methodology across the profession.

GAGAS fieldwork standards ensure appropriate:

  • Planning and supervision
  • Evidence collection and documentation
  • Report contents and quality control elements

GAGAS fundamental requirements ensure:

  • Independence and objectivity of the audit organization and staff
  • Professional judgment in performing audit work and report writing
  • Competence of audit staff
  • Quality control assurance through external peer reviews

GAGAS requires audit organizations receive an external peer review at least once every three years to monitor a department’s conformance to standards.

Read more about GAGAS here.

Performance Audits

One of our goals is to help City leaders maximize public resources to benefit Oakland residents. Performance audits examine the accuracy and effectiveness of City Department programs and operations, provide recommendations for corrective action, as well as acknowledgments when processes are in good order. Auditing is our contribution to creating a transparent and effective city government, accountable to the taxpayers and residents.

Whistleblower Hotline

The Whistleblower Program, is a confidential hotline for reporting fraud, waste, and abuse in Oakland’s City government. The City Auditor manages this program and thoroughly investigates all allegations reported through the hotline. All complaints are then referred to the appropriate authorities for resolution. Confidentiality is key to a trusted program, and this office takes every measure to preserve it.

Ballot Measures

Ballot Measures reports are an impartial analysis of all ballot measures to inform constituents of the financial impact of proposed voter-approved legislation.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Your subscribe request has been sent!