Page images
PDF
EPUB

Chapter 216, article VI, department of audit SECTION 1. Department of audit: A department of audit is hereby created and established. The State auditor shall be the head of this department. He shall be a certified public accountant or shall have had satisfactory experience as an auditor of public accounts. He shall be elected by the legislature by a joint ballot of the senators and representatives in convention and shall hold office for a term of 4 years, or until his successor is elected and qualified : Provided, That the present incumbent of the office of State auditor shall continue in this position until the expiration of his term. He shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as are set forth in the subsequent sections of this act. In case the office of State auditor shall become vacant during a period when the legislature is not in session, the appointment of a person to fill such vacancy shall be made immediately by the president of the senate, or, if that office be vacant, by the speaker of the house, said person to hold office until such time as the legislature shall meet in regular or special session and either confirm the appointment of said person or choose another person to fill the office during the unexpired term.

SEC. 3. General powers and duties: The department of audit shall have authority,

1. To perform a post-audit of all accounts and other financial records of the State government, or any department, or agency thereof, and to report annually on this audit, and at such other times as the legislature may require.

2. To install accounting systems and to perform audits for cities, towns, and villages as required by chapter 5 of sections 97 to 106 of the Revised Statutes.

3. To serve as a staff agency to the legislature or any of its committees, or to the Governor, in making investigations of any phase of the State's finances.

SEC. 4. Detailed requirements: The State auditor shall keep no accounts in the department of audit, but she shall conduct a continuous post-audit of the accounts, books, records, and other evidences of financial transactions kept in the department of finance, or in the other departments and agencies of the State government. He shall prepare and publish a report, setting forth the essential facts of such audit in summary form, within 2 months after the close of each fiscal year. If he shall find in the course of his audit evidences of improper transactions, or of incompetence in keeping accounts or handling funds, or of any other improper practice of financial administration, he shall report the same to the Governor immediately; if he shall find evidences of illegal transactions, he shall forthwith report such transactions both to the Governor: and to the attorney general. All such evidences shall be included in the annual reports of the State auditor, and he may, at his discretion, make them public at any time during the fiscal year.

MASSACHUSETTS

Annotated laws of Massachusetts, volume 1, chapter og

(Commission on administration and finance)

2. Commission on administration and finance: There shall be a commission on administration and finance, which shall serve directly under the Governor and council within the meaning of article LXVI of the amendments to the constitution of the Commonwealth.

3. Commissioners, appointment, salaries, etc. : The commission shall consist of four commissioners, one of whom shall annually be appointed for a term of 4 years by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the council. The Governor shall designate one of said commissioners as chairman. The chairman shall receive such salary not exceeding $7,000, and each of the other commissioners, such salary not exceeding $6,500, as the Governor and council may determine. Each commissioner shall devote his entire time to the duties of his office.

4. Comptroller, budget commissioner, State purchasing agent-Bureaus: Said commission shall be organized in three bureaus, namely, a comptroller's bureau, a budget bureau, and a purchasing bureau. Each bureau shall be in charge of a commissioner of the commission to be designated by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the council, and to be known, respectively, as the comptroller, budget commissioner, and State purchasing agent. Said purchasing agent shall give bond to the State treasurer in a sum to be fixed by the Governor

and council for the faithful performance of his duties and for the rendering of a proper account of all money entrusted to him for the use of the Commonwealth. Any commissioner designated as aforesaid shall be a person of ability and extended experience in the line of work required in his bureau.

13. Duties of comptroller, examination, and certification of certain accounts, etc., against Commonwealth: The comptroller shall examine all accounts and demands against the Commonwealth, excepting those for the salaries of the Governor and of the justices of the supreme judicial court, for the pay rolls of the executive council and members of the general court, and those due on account of the principal or interest of a public debt. He may require affidavits that articles have been furnished, services rendered, and expenses incurred as claimed. Such affidavit for any institution shall be made by the disbursing officer thereof. The comptroller shall make a certificate specifying the amount due and allowed on each account or demand so examined, the name of the person to whom such amount is payable; the law authorizing the same and the head of expenditure to which it is chargeable. If the general court, by express statute, authorizes a department or public officer to approve accounts or demands against the Commonwealth, and an appropriation therefore has been made, the comptroller shall, when such accounts or demands have been properly approved, promptly audit and certify such an amount, not exceeding the appropriation therefor, as he may deem correct; and if it appears to him that there are improper charges in said accounts or demands he shall report the same to the Governor and council with a separate certificate therefor. But he shall not certify any bill for printing incurred in violation of section 6 of chapter 5. He shall keep copies of all such certificates and transmit the originals to the Governor, who, with the advice and consent of the council, may issue his warrant to the State treasurer for the amount therein specified as due.

16. Same subject--Accounting system for Commonwealth : He shall design and install a new accounting system for the Commonwealth as provided by chapter 546 of the acts of 1922 and prescribe the requisite forms and books of account to be used by each department, office, commission, and institution of the Commonwealth. After such installation, no form or book of account, other than that prescribed as aforesaid, shall be used without the approval of the comptroller. He may revise such forms, books, or system from time to time. He shall prepare and distribute a book of instructions covering the use and application of said new accounting system for the guidance of the accounting personnel in the various departments, offices, commissions, and institutions of the Commonwealth.

17. Same subject-General books of account, systems of accounting, supervision of collection of revenue due Commonwealth : He shall keep all general books of account and determine the extent and character of subsidiary accounts to be kept by all departments, offices, commissions, and institutions of the Commonwealth. He shall have full authority to prescribe, regulate, and make changes in the method of keeping and rendering accounts. He shall establish in each such department, office, commission, and institution a proper system of accounts, which shall be uniform so far as is practicable, and a proper system of accounting for stores, supplies, materials, and products, and may provide where he deems it necessary for a continuing inventory thereof. He shall proved such safeguards and systems of checking as will insure, so far as possible, the proper collection of all revenues due the Commonwealth ; and, where he deems it necessary, shall provide that forms and receipts shall be numbered consecutively, making each such department, officer, commission, or institution responsible for their use or cancellation.

18. Same subject-Account of public receipts and expenditures, public property, etc.: The comptroller shall keep a distinct account, under appropriate heads, of all public receipts and expenditures. He shall keep a like account of the school fund and of other public property and of all debts and obligations due to and from the Commonwealth ; and for such purpose he shall have free access to the books and papers of the several departments, offices, commissions, and institutions.

20. Comptroller's bureau to furnish accounting statements, etc.: The comptroller's bureau shall be properly equipped and shall furnish, when required, all accounting statements relating to the financial status, funds, reserves, appropriation control, and cost of operation of the Commonwealth at the end of the State fiscal year and at intermediate monthly period when such information is needed in effecting economies before appropriations have been exhausted, or for other purposes.

21. Records, etc., of bureau available for preparation of budget, etc.: In the exercise of the budget commissioner's functions, relative to the preparation of the budget, the records, resources, and full cooperation of the comptroller's bureau shall be available.

Volume 1, chapter 11, department of the State auditor 1. State auditor : There shall be a department to be known as the department of the State auditor under his supervision and control, organized as provided in this chapter. The State auditor shall receive a salary of $6,000 and shall give to the State treasurer a bond for the faithful performance of his official duties in a penal sum and with sureties approved by the Governor and council.

12. Auditing of accounts of certain departments, etc. : The department of the State auditor shall annually make a careful audit of the accounts of all departments, offices, commissions, institutions, and activities of the Commonwealth, including those of the income tax division of the department of corporations and taxation, and for said purpose the authorized officers and employees of said department of the State auditor shall have access to such accounts at reasonable times and said department may require the production of books, documents, and vouchers, except tax returns, relating to any matter within the scope of such audit. The accounts of the last-named department shall be subject at any time to such examination as the Governor and council or the general court may order. Said department shall comply with any written regulations, consistent with law, relative to its duties made by the Governor and council. This section shall not apply to the accounts of State officers which the director of accounts of the department of corporatioons and taxation is required by law to examine. The department of the State auditor shall keep no books or records except records of audits made by it and its annual report shall relate only to such audits.

VIRGINIA

The Virginia Code of 1936, title 10B, chapter 316 SEC. 585 (72). Auditor of public accounts: An officer to be known as the auditor of public accounts shall be elected by the joint vote of the two houses of the general assembly, as provided in section 82 of the constitution, and he shall receive such compensation as may be appropriated by law for the purpose; but such officer shall not perform any of the duties nor exercise any of the powers imposed or conferred upon the officer heretofore known as the auditor of public accounts, by any statute enacted prior to March 16, 1927, all such duties and powers being by this act imposed or conferred upon the comptroller, except as otherwise herein provided. The auditor of public accounts shall perform such duties and exercise such powers as have been heretofore imposed or conferred by law upon the State accountant, and the office of State accountant is hereby abolished. In addition thereto, the auditor of public accounts shall audit all of the accounts kept in the department of finance and all accounts of every other State department, officer, board, commission, institution, or any other agency in any manner handling State funds; and in the performance of such duties and the exercise of such powers he may employ the services of certified public accountants, provided the cost thereof shall not exceed such sums as may be available out of the appropriation provided by law for the conduct of his office.

The auditor of public accounts shall be the chief auditor and accountant of the auditing committee of the general assembly. If the auditor of public accounts should at any time discover any unauthorized, illegal, irregular, or unsafe handling or expenditure of State funds, or if at any time it should come to his knowledge that any unauthorized, illegal, or unsafe handling or expenditure of State funds is contemplated but not consummated, in either case he shall forthwith lay the facts before the Governor, the members of the auditing committee of the general assembly, and the comptroller.

The penalty of the bond of the auditor or public accounts shall be fixed by the Governor, but the same shall not be less than $5,000. Such of the employees in the office of the auditor of public accounts as, in the opinion of the Governor, should be bonded, shall be bonded, and the penalties of such bonds, respectively, shall be fixed by the auditor of public accounts, subject to the approval of the Governor. The premiums on the bond mentioned in this páragraph shall be paid out of the State treasury (1927, p. 113; 1928, pp. 347, 348).

*

Department of finance SEC. 585 (68). Divisions of department of finance: In the department of finance hereby established there shall be the following divisions : Division of accounts and control, division of the treasury, division of purchasing and printing, and division of motor vehicles. For each of such divisions, except the division of the treasury, a director shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the general assembly if in session when such appointment is made, and if not in session then at its next succeeding session. Each director shall hold his office at the pleasure of the Governor for a term coincident with that of each Governor making the appointments, or until his successor shall be appointed and qualified.

SEC. 585 (69). Division of accounts and control and division of the treasury: (a) The director of the division of accounts and control shall be known as the comptroller * Except as otherwise provided in this act, all the powers heretofore conferred and all the duties heretofore imposed by law upon the auditor of public accounts and the second auditor are hereby transferred to, vested in, and shall be exercised or performed by, the comptroller

(j) No money shall be paid out of the State treasury except in pursuance of appropriations made by law, and there shall be established in the division of accounts and control by the comptroller a complete system of general accounting to comprehend the financial transactions of every State department, division, officer, board, commission, institution, or other agency owned or controlled by the State, whether at the seat of government or not. All transactions in public funds shall clear through the comptroller's office. All State moneys in a State depository shall stand on the books of such depository to the credit of the treasurer of Virginia. But the treasurer shall have no authority to draw any of the said money except by his check, drawn upon a warrant issued by the comptroller. If any money to his credit, as aforesaid, shall be knowingly paid otherwise than upon his check drawn upon such warrant, the payment shall not be valid against the Commonwealth.

(k) The comptroller shall not issue any disbursement warrant unless and until he shall have audited the bill, invoice, account, pay roll, or other evidence of the claim, demand, or charge and satisfied himself as to the regularity, legality, and correctness of the expenditure or disbursment and that the claim, demand, or charge has not been previously paid. If he be so satisfied, he shall approve the same; otherwise he shall withhold his approval. In order that such regularity and legality may appear, the comptroller may, by general rule or special order, require such certification or such evidence as the circumstances may demand. Lump-sum transfers or appropriations to State departments, divisions, offices, boards, commissions, institutions, and other agencies owned or controlled by the State, whether at the seat of government or not, are prohibited ; but nothing in this sentence shall be construed as preventing the payment to or distribution among the political subdivisions of the State of any appropriations made to them by law. A reasonable petty-cash fund shall be allowed each State department, institution, board, and commission, or other agency, the amount of which petty-cash fund shall be fixed by the comptroller in each case, but these funds shall be reimbursed only upon vouchers audited by the comptroller. No appropriation to any department, institution, or other agency of the State government, except the general assembly and the judiciary, shall become available for expenditure until the agency shall submit to the direction of the division of the budget quarterly estimates of the amount required for each activity to be carried on, and such estimates shall have been approved by the Governor.

(m) The comptroller shall prescribe what accounts shall be kept by each State agency in addition to the system of general accounting maintained in the comptroller's office, and in prescribing what accounts shall be kept by each State agency the comptroller shall take care that there shall be no unnecessary duplication (1927, pp. 107–111; 1928, pp. 342–347). Title 10, chapter 29, State accountant and State board of accountancy--State

accountant

SEC. 550. State accountant: appointment: qualifications; salary ; bond ; removal; successor: There shall be appointed by the Governor, upon the recommendation of the joint auditing committee, a person wbose official title shall be the State accountant

*. The said State accountant may at any time 152419-37-49

be removed from office by the Governor for malfeasance or misfeasance in office or for incompetency. A vacancy so occasioned or otherwise occurring shall be filled by appointment by the Governor (1910 p. 243).

SEC. 557. Inspection of accounts and vouchers of certain officers : Said State accountant, or his deputy, shall, from time to time, inspect and scrutinize the accounts and vouchers of all State officers (id.).

SEC. 558. How inspections made; production of books and vouchers; penalty : Such inspection shall be made without notice to the officials whose accounts are to be inspected, and it shall be the duty of the official whose books and accounts and vouchers are being inspected to produce such books, vouchers, and accounts and give the State accountant or his deputy all necessary help and aid in making such inspection. Should any official fail to perform the requirements of this section he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor (id.).

SEC. 560. To whom State accountant to report defaults or irregularities: If the result of any examination made by the State accountant, or his deputy, under this chapter shall show that any moneys received have not been properly accounted for or have been paid out contrary to law or that there has been any irregularity, it shall be the duty of the State accountant to report the same to the auditor of public accounts and the Governor. In case there is any irregularity in the accounts of the auditor of public accounts, the said State accountant shall make report of the same to the Governor and to the general assembly (id.).

Sec. 561. Annual report of State accountant: Said State accountant shall make an annual report of the acts and doings of his office to the Governor (id.).

SEC. 564. When State accountant upon request to examine certain accounts: The State accountant when called upon by the Governor shall examine the accounts of any institution maintained in whole or in part by the State, and, upon direction of the auditor of public accounts, shall examine the accounts of any officer required to settle his accounts with him, and upon the direction of any other State officer at the seat of government he shall examine the accounts of any person required to settle his accounts with such officer (id.).

Title 10, chapter 24, the Attorney General

SEC. 374a. Chief officer; opinions ; duties, etc. : (1) Chief Officer.-The attorney general shall be the chief executive officer of the department of law, and as such shall perform such duties as may be provided by law.

(2) Opinions. He shall give his advice and render official opinions in writing only when requested in writing so to do by one of the following: The Governor; a member of the general assembly; a judge of a court of record or a justice of the peace or trial justice; the State corporation commission; an attorney for the Commonwealth ; a clerk of a court; a city or county sheriff or constable or city sergeant; a city or county treasurer; a commissioner of the revenue; the head of a State department, division, bureau, institution, or board. Except in cases where such opinion is requested by the Governor or a member of the general assembly, the attorney general shall have no authority or render an official opinion unless the question dealt with is directly related to the discharge of the duties of the official requesting same. Opinions upon questions relating to the election laws may, in appropriate cases, be given to a chairman of an electoral board.

(8) Authority to settle disputes.The attorney general shall have authority to compromise and settle disputes, claims, and controversies involving the interests of the Commonwealth, but only after the proposed compromise or settlement, together with the reasons therefor, have been submitted in writing to the Governor and approved by him. Where any dispute, claim, or controversy involves the interests of any State department, institution, division, commission, board, or bureau, the attorney general shall have authority to compromise and settle same provided such compromise or settlement be approved both by the Governor, in the manner above provided, and by the head of the State department, institution, division, board, or bureau which is interested.

III. SUMMARY OF THESE ACTS

It will be observed that these contain the following features : 1. Control and audit are sharply differentiated.

2. Control is placed in the executive branch under a "comptroller” appointed by the chief executive and responsible to him, in some cases through the head of the department of finance.

« PreviousContinue »