The Office of the New Mexico State Auditor is a constitutionally established office, allowing the State Auditor to serve two consecutive four year terms. Additionally, the Audit Act, §§ 12-6-1 to 12-6-14, NMSA 1978, provides the laws in which this Office operates.
The Office has two statutory purposes: (1) to ensure that the financial affairs of every agency shall be thoroughly examined and audited each year by the state auditor, personnel of the state auditor’s office designated by the state auditor or independent auditors approved by the state auditor and (2) cause the financial affairs and transactions of an agency to be audited in whole or in part. Section 12-6-3, NMSA 1978. These two statutory purposes grant the State Auditor the authority to conduct both financial and special audits.
The Office consists of thirty two employees divided between four divisions: the Financial Audit Division, the Special Investigation Division, Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Administrative Division.
The Financial Audit Division consists of fourteen employees who are responsible for ensuring that over 600 governmental entities receive an annual audit. Because the Office has limited resources, a majority of the financial audits are conducted by IPA’s whom partner with the Office. The staff of the financial audit division must ensure that the work conducted by the IPA’s maintains a level of quality. Therefore, in addition to conducting audits of their own, the financial audit staff must perform a certain level of quality control of the IPA’s. This quality control is accomplished through conducting annual work paper reviews of the IPA’s and performing report reviews of the financial audit reports submitted by IPA’s on an ongoing basis. Furthermore, the division is responsible for updating the annual Audit Rule.
The Special Investigation Division consists of seven employees who are responsible for conducting special audits of state and local government agencies as selected by the State Auditor. The division has the ability to conduct or direct a variety of audits including agreed upon procedures, performance audits, or any other special audits the State Auditor deems necessary. This division utilizes a hotline to allow citizens of the State of New Mexico to report financial fraud, waste or abuse. This tool allows individuals to report 24 hours a day, seven days a week either on the record or anonymously.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is responsible for analyzing tax dollar distribution and ensure they are made in accordance with the law. This entails investigating whether dedicated funds are spent on the programs for which they were intended. The GAO will also be assessing selected state wide financial practices such as fund balance management, contractual spending, and conducting return on investment expenditure programs.
The Administrative Division consists of eleven employees who are responsible for managing the day to day operations of the State Auditor’s Office. The division oversees Legal, Human Resources, Training and Recruitment, Information Technology, Procurement, Financial and Budget, and Legislative and Public Affairs. In addition, the division spends a significant amount of time managing the contracts entered into between government agencies and the IPA’s.
About OSA Logo
Similar to many state agencies, the Office of the State Auditor has a logo that reflects its specific function. The logo shares the American eagle with outspread wings that appears on the official state seal (12-3-1 NMSA 1978 ), but includes an icon of the ledger or "T account.” The left side of the "T" column lists debit transactions and the right side "T" lists credits. The balancing of the debit and credit columns is the fundamental basis of the accounting profession.