What is an audit?

There are two kinds of audits

Performance audits
also referred to as management audits, examine the efficiency and effectiveness of government programs or agencies.  These are also called program audits when they focus on whether programs are attaining the objectives and results expected of them, and operations audits when they examine how well agencies are organized and managed and how efficiently they acquire and utilize resources.

Financial audits
attest to the fairness of the financial statements of agencies.  They examine the adequacy of financial records, accounting, and internal controls and determine the legality and propriety of expenditures.

The Law
The drafters of the 1950 Constitution envisioned an Auditor who would help eliminate waste and inefficiency in government, provide the Legislature with a check against the powers of the executive branch, and ensure that public funds are expended according to legislative intent.  Article VII, section 10 of the State Constitution established the position of Auditor.  Chapter 23, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes, gives the Auditor broad powers to examine all books, records, and files, papers and documents, and financial affairs of every state agency.  The Auditor also has the power to summon people to produce records and answer questions under oath.

The Legislature
Projects can be initiated by the Legislature through concurrent resolution, law or other legislative directive.

Projects can also be self-initiated after considering a variety of factors, such as legislative or public interest, economic or social impact, major investment or expenditures, and known or potential risks to the State.

Download a brochure – A Legislator’s guide to the audit process