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Internal Audit

Internal auditing is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization's operations. As a service to management and the taxpayers of Manatee County, the Internal Auditing Department measures and evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of various Manatee County departments' and agencies' internal controls. Internal controls evaluated by Internal Audit include a complex environment of federal, state, and local laws, regulations, policies, and procedures. Internal Audit evaluates and reports to the Board of County Commissioners, the County Administrator, and the public on how well Manatee County departments comply with these rules.

Primary Information

Additional Information

Other Auditing Resources

Waste, Abuse, Employee or Vendor Misconduct

If you would like to report an incidence of fraud, waste, abuse or County Employee misconduct, you can contact Internal Audit in one of five ways. Your complaint can be anonymous or you can leave your name, if you wish. Please remember, however, that if you send an e-mail or use on-line form, your Internet address will be contained in the e-mail.

  1. Complete our on-line Fraud, Waste, Abuse & Misconduct form (Remember, your e-mail address will be sent with this form).
  2. Call our 24-hour hotline at 941-742-5938.
  3. Send a letter to:
    Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court
    ATTN: Internal Audit
    P.O. Box 25400
    Bradenton, FL 34206-5400
  4. Send us a fax at 941-741-4072
  5. Send us an e-mail (Remember, your e-mail address will be sent with this e-mail)

The Internal Audit Department provides the telephone numbers and E-mail Address to employees of Manatee County government and to the general public to allow ease of reporting suspected wrong doing.

The Internal Audit Department is staffed with Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE) who can professionally investigate allegations of fraud, irregularities, abuse, other illegal acts, and employee misconduct. Employees reporting suspected wrongdoing are protected by the Whistle Blower's Act from retaliation by management and other employees. Reporting anonymously is also encouraged for reporting of sufficient details of wrongdoing to allow investigation.

Preliminary review of allegations is made to determine probability that the alleged acts could have occurred. Approval by the Director of Internal Audit and the Clerk of the Circuit Court is needed to begin an investigation and these approvals are documented. Allegations are investigated and reported to the County Administrator, the Board of County Commissioners, and the public. Referrals are made to the proper law enforcement agency when evidence suggests that a criminal activity may have occurred or is occurring that warrants a criminal investigation.

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Contact Information

Phone Number: (941) 749-1800 x4170
Fax Number: (941) 741-4072
E-mail Director: Lori Stephens

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Jurisdiction and Independence

The Florida State Constitution provides for the Clerk of the Circuit Court to be the auditor of the Board of County Commissioners. In fulfillment of this responsibility, the Clerk of the Circuit Court established the Internal Audit Department. A formal Internal Auditing charter was approved by the Board of County Commissioners on December 11, 1990 which details the responsibilities of the Internal Audit Division of the Clerk of the Circuit Court. The jurisdiction of the Internal Audit Department consists of all departments and divisions under the Board of County Commissioners and any agency receiving funding from the Board of County Commissioners.

Manatee County is a non-chartered government which has not altered the organization and form of government detailed in the State Constitution and the Florida Statutes. The jurisdiction of the Internal Audit Department of the Clerk of the Circuit Court does not extend to the elected Constitutional Offices. Unless requested to provide audit services, the following Constitutional Officers and their respective offices are not in Internal Audit's jurisdiction:

In addition, the jurisdiction does not extend to the Manatee County School Board, the State's Attorney's Office, the Public Defender's Office, water management districts, and other quasi-governmental entities.

Independence is achieved by having the Director of the Internal Audit Department report directly to the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Independence is enhanced by reporting through the Clerk of the Circuit Court to the County Administrator and Board of County Commissioners in addition to the management of the entity audited.

The Internal Audit Department complies with auditing standards published by the Institute of Internal Auditors collectively titled Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and the Government Auditing Standards issued by the United States General Accounting Office by the Comptroller General of the United States. The Internal Audit Department's compliance with these standards is audited every three years by an independent auditing entity.

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Types of Internal Audit Services

The Internal Audit Department of the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court's Office provides the following types of audit services which are often combined for a comprehensive coverage:


FINANCIAL AUDITS:
These audits include, but are not limited to, verifications that the financial transactions of the audited entity are:

a) accurately recorded and reported,
b) properly approved, and
c) are legal expenditures which serve a public purpose.

COMPLIANCE AUDITS: These audits test compliance with Federal and State of Florida regulations. In addition, tests are performed of local ordinances and resolutions of the Board of County Commissioners, and policies and procedures of County departments or other entities receiving funds from the Board of County Commissioners.

OPERATIONAL / PERFORMANCE AUDITS: These audits include, but are not limited to review, analysis, and substantive testing of:

a) the audited entity's internal control structure and environment,
b) the processes of operations for efficiency and effectiveness, and
c) the audited entity's method and scope of operations compared to other similar entities to determine "best practices".

Investigations:

The Internal Audit Department investigates, reports, and makes referrals for criminal prosecution for allegations of employee or vendor misconduct, illegal acts, abuse, irregularities, and fraud that are discovered during audits or are forwarded from management, employees, or the public.

Consulting Services:

The Internal Audit Department also provides Manatee County departments with independent analysis, review, and recommendations for new and continuing processes that management requests assistance in reviewing. Internal Audit also provides polling/consensus equipment for auditing and use by departments and other entities.

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The Audit Process

Internal Audit selects individual entities for audit based on a one-year plan called the Long Range Audit Work Schedule. This document is prepared with solicitation of input from individual County Commissioners, the County Administrator, the Director of the Financial Management Department, and the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Audits performed by the Internal Audit Department generally include the following phases, regardless of the type of audit performed:

1. PRELIMINARY WORK: The preliminary phase includes, but is not limited to:

  • Notification of an upcoming audit by the Clerk of the Circuit Court to the manager of the entity being audited, the County Administrator, and the Board of County Commissioners.
  • Preparation of a general planning memorandum and assignment of staff.
  • A preliminary meeting with management of the audited entity.
  • Flowcharting of processes, risk analysis based on flowcharts, review of laws, regulations, and financial information and organization of the audited entity.
  • Development of the Audit Program.

2. FIELD WORK: Fieldwork consists of auditor tests, analysis, review, and documentation of work performed. Audit findings are discussed with management as they are found to allow immediate correction when applicable. All work papers are reviewed for compliance with auditing standards during this phase.

3. EXIT CONFERENCE: An exit conference is held with management in which all findings are discussed with management to obtain input and clarification.

4. AUDIT REPORT ISSUED: The Draft Audit Report is written, approved by the Clerk of the Circuit Court and forwarded to management for review. Management's responses are included as part of the published Audit Report. The Audit Report is distributed simultaneously to management of the audited entity, the County Administrator, the Board of County Commissioners, and the public.

5. FOLLOW-UP AUDIT: The Internal Audit Department performs a follow-up audit, approximately six months after the Audit Report is released or after the implementation dates included in the Management Action Plans. This follow-up audit reviews the status of implementation of the Management Action Plans from the Audit Report and any other significant issues which come to Internal Audit's attention since release of the Audit Report.

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