About Our Mission, Authority, and Standards
Our mission is to provide objective evaluations and effective solutions that enhance the transparency, accountability, and performance of California government for the people it serves.
We follow the highest standards to provide stakeholders with reliable answers to problems in California government. We gather evidence to understand what an agency or program is meant to achieve, if it is falling short, and what that means for the people it serves.
State laws mandate our office independent of the executive branch and legislative control. The State Auditor is the only entity that has, by statute, full access to all records, accounts, correspondence, property, and other files of any publicly created entity, including state agencies, cities, counties, school districts, and special districts.
The California State Auditor's Office conducts all performance/policy evaluations—also known as performance audits—in accordance with audit standards issued by the U.S. Comptroller General's Government Accountability Office (GAO), including standards that we must follow as an independent auditor. To preserve the independence of our office and to ensure the receipt of federal funds, state law requires the State Auditor to follow those standards that explicitly free the auditor from control by the executive branch.
State statutes mandate that the State Auditor annually conduct California's Single Audit and that it complies with government and industry auditing standards. The Single Audit is performed in accordance with the Single Audit Act, provisions of OMB Circular A-133, the GAO's Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant's Statements on Auditing Standards.