Notice Regarding Book/Page Numbers in the Manatee County Clerk’s Official Records
Beginning January 1, 2020, the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller will no longer assign Book and Page numbers to documents recorded in Official Records. The Clerk will continue assigning consecutive Instrument Numbers as the official register numbers to reflect the order in which documents have been recorded. For historical purposes, documents recorded prior to January 1, 2020, will remain indexed and searchable by Book and Page. If you create or use forms that reference Book and Page numbers, you should modify those forms to capture or reference Instrument Numbers for any documents recorded on or after January 1, 2020. Recorded plat maps will continue to receive Book and Page numbers.

Inspector General

The Division of Inspector General provides independent, objective assurance and consulting services which are designed to add value and improve the operations of Manatee County Government. As a service to management and the taxpayers of Manatee County, the Division of Inspector General measures and evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of various Manatee County departments' and agencies' internal controls. These internal controls include a complex environment of federal, state, and local laws, regulations, policies, and procedures.

Primary Information
Additional Information
Other Auditing Resources

Fraud, Waste, Abuse, Employee or Vendor Misconduct

If you suspect that an incidence of fraud, waste, abuse, or County Employee misconduct may have occurred, you can make a report in one of five ways, and your complaint can be anonymous.

  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: Inspector General 
    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 Division of Inspector General 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. Upon receipt of a complaint, a preliminary review of the allegations is made to establish predication that the alleged acts could have occurred. Approval by the Inspector General and the Clerk of the Circuit Court is required in order to begin an investigation. Allegations are investigated and, as appropriate, reported to the County Administrator, the Board of County Commissioners, and the public. Referrals are made to the appropriate law enforcement agency when evidence suggests that a criminal activity may have occurred or is occurring that warrants a criminal investigation.

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 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. On November 19, 2019, the department transitioned to the Division of Inspector General when a new charter was approved by the Inspector General and Clerk of the Circuit Court, and accepted by the Board of County Commissioners.

The jurisdiction of the Division of Inspector General includes 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 Division of Inspector General does not extend to the elected Constitutional Offices. Unless requested to provide services, the following Constitutional Officers and their respective offices are not within the Division of Inspector General'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 Inspector General 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 Division of Inspector General complies with auditing and investigative standards including the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing published by the Institute of Internal Auditors; Government Auditing Standards issued by the United States General Accounting Office by the Comptroller General of the United States; and Principles and Standards for Offices of Inspector General, issued by the Association of Inspectors General. The Division’s compliance with these standards is verified every three to five years through quality assurance reviews conducted by an independent auditing entity.

Types of Inspector General Services

The Division of Inspector General 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, verification 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 Division of Inspector General 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 Division of Inspector General provides Manatee County departments with independent analysis, review, and recommendations for new and continuing processes that management requests assistance in reviewing.

The Audit Process

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

Audits performed by the Division of Inspector General 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 to management 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. Documentation of processes, risk analysis, review of laws, regulations, and financial information and organization of the audited entity.

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

3. EXIT CONFERENCE: An exit conference is held in which all findings are discussed with management in order to develop corrective action plans.

4. AUDIT REPORT ISSUED: A draft of the Audit Report is written and forwarded to management for review and comment. The final Audit Report is distributed to management of the audited entity, the County Administrator and the Board of County Commissioners. Audit reports are made available to the public on the website or upon request.

5. FOLLOW-UP AUDIT: After the implementation due dates included in the Management Action Plans have passed, a follow-up audit is performed to review the status of any corrective action taken and to address any other significant issues which may have arisen since release of the Audit Report.

Contact Inspector General
Fax: 941-741-4072
Supervisor: Lori Stephens
Supervisor Title: Inspector General
Mailing Address
Attn: Inspector General
P.O. Box 25400
Bradenton, FL 34206
Physical Address
1115 Manatee Avenue West
Bradenton, FL 34205