Overview


The Legislative Audit Bureau is a nonpartisan legislative service agency created to assist the Legislature in maintaining effective oversight of state operations. The Bureau conducts objective audits and evaluations of state agency operations to ensure financial transactions have been made in a legal and proper manner and to determine whether programs are administered effectively, efficiently, and in accordance with the policies of the Legislature and the Governor. The results of these evaluations are provided to the Legislature, along with recommendations for improvements in agency operations.  

Organization Structure

On the basis of a recommendation from the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, the Joint Committee on Legislative Organization appoints the State Auditor as the director of the Bureau. The State Auditor appoints staff members outside the classified civil service system.

2007 Wisconsin Act 126 created a fraud, waste, and mismanagement hotline at the Bureau. This hotline allows the public and individuals within state government to report suspected fraud and other improper acts by state agencies, employees, and contractors.

 

Financial Audit Division

Staff in the Financial Audit Division conduct financial, compliance, and management audits of state agencies and programs as required by statutes, requested by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, requested by state agencies, or directed by the State Auditor. This includes the annual financial audit of the State of Wisconsin’s financial statements, as presented in the State’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, and the "single audit" report for the State of Wisconsin, which is performed to meet federal requirements for audits of federal grants provided to the State.

Other major financial audit responsibilities include:

  • conducting annual financial audits of state agencies and programs, including the University of Wisconsin System, the Department of Employee Trust Funds, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, the Wisconsin Lottery, and the Unemployment Reserve Fund;
  • biennially conducting a financial audit of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and a management audit of the State of Wisconsin Investment Board;
  • auditing the State Life Insurance Fund, the Local Government Property Insurance Fund, and the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund at least every three years;
  • verifying the odds of winning a lottery game; and
  • annually certifying the State’s net indebtedness.

 

Performance Evaluation Division

Staff in the Performance Evaluation Division conduct audits to determine whether programs are accomplishing their policy goals and program objectives and to identify areas in which improvements can be made in the efficiency and effectiveness of state agencies and programs. Performance evaluations are conducted as required by statutes, requested by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, or directed by the State Auditor.

Major performance evaluation responsibilities include:

  • reviewing the performance and program accomplishments of state agencies at the direction of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee;
  • independently initiating a review of program performance when problem areas have been identified; and
  • periodically conducting best practice reviews of local units of government.

 

Public Records Custodian

Under s. 19.33, Wis. Stats., the State Auditor is the legal custodian of the records in the custody of the Bureau. Requests may be directed to:

Joe Chrisman, State Auditor
Legislative Audit Bureau
22 East Mifflin Street, Suite 500
Madison, Wisconsin 53703
AskLAB@legis.wisconsin.gov