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Internal Audit / Audit Charter
Whatcom County Code - Internal Audit Charter


Chapter 3.09

3.09.010 Creation and purpose.

There is hereby established an internal audit system effective July 1, 1994. The purpose of this system is to provide an independent internal audit function to evaluate county programs and services to determine if those operations have been conducted in accordance with state statutes, county council policy, executive orders and financial internal control standards. To provide an effective audit, the internal audit system must be independent of both the operating and accounting departments. (Ord. 93-042 Exh. G)

3.09.020 Administration.

The county auditor shall have full authority and responsibility for the management of the internal audit system while taking direction regarding audit priorities from the county council. (Ord. 93-042 Exh. G).

3.09.030 Authority and functions.

The internal audit system shall be designed to provide audit services in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. To these ends, all officers and employees of Whatcom County shall furnish information and records that the auditor may request as deemed necessary to further the purposes of this chapter. Such information and records shall be submitted in a timely manner and in such form as the auditor may specify. Internal audit system functions shall include the following elements:

 A. Perform an internal operational and/or financial audit of all programs, services and accounts which come under the budgeting authority of the county.

 B. Prepare an annual internal audit report for Whatcom County.

 C. Representative samples of all claims against county funds may be audited at any time for control purposes. Sample sizes selected should be based on professional auditing standards with a due consideration of the risk factors involved.

 D. Establish and maintain procedures for the internal audit function.

 E. Perform such other duties as may be required to further the purposes of this chapter. (Ord. 93-042 Exh. G).

3.09.040 Duties.

The county Auditor's office shall:

 A. Supervise and administer the activities of the internal audit system.

 B. Exercise all the powers and perform all the duties prescribed by ordinance with respect to the administration of the internal audit system.

 C. Advise the county executive and the county council with respect to matters regarding internal audits conducted.

 D. Appoint all officers and employees of the system in accordance with the rules of the county personnel system, and any other applicable laws and regulations.

 E. Delegate functions and duties to other officers and employees of the county as deemed necessary to further the purposes of this chapter. Such delegation does not absolve the director of the responsibilities set forth in this chapter. (Ord. 93-042 Exh. G).

3.09.050 Timing, frequency and notification.

The timing and frequency of audits shall be at the discretion of the county auditor with the aim of auditing each program and service of Whatcom County over a five-year cycle. The county auditor shall request specific direction from the county council annually during the budget cycle regarding internal auditing priorities. The county auditor shall make prior arrangements with the head of each department subject to audit before conducting said audit except when fraud or wrongdoing is suspected. (Ord. 93-042 Exh. G).

3.09.060 Reporting of audit results.

Final audit reports on county programs and services shall be made to the county executive and to the county council. In all cases where audit findings are included in the audit report, the county auditor shall provide a reasonable time for review of the preliminary report by the head of the department that is the subject of the audit report. The affected department head shall respond in writing to the county auditor regarding the audit report. The department head shall respond with a corrective action plan directed toward the specific audit findings or in the case of a disagreement, with the reasons for disagreement with the findings in the report. The department heads response shall be included as an addendum to each audit report. (Ord. 93-042 Exh. G).

3.09.070 Severability.

If any provision of this chapter is held to be invalid, the remainder of the chapter shall remain in effect. (Ord. 93-042 Exh. G).


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