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Thomas J. Barnickel III, CPA, Legislative Auditor
Organizational Structure - Mission

The Office of Legislative Audits (OLA) is part of the Maryland General Assembly’s Department of Legislative Services. Our mission is to serve the General Assembly and the citizens of Maryland by providing independent, objective, and non-partisan audits and evaluations of State government agencies. These audits assist the General Assembly in its oversight responsibilities and lead to improved performance throughout State government. OLA operates under the authority of the State Government Article, Sections 2-1217 through 2-1227 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

OLA reports to the General Assembly’s Joint Audit Committee and is responsible for:

  • performing fiscal compliance audits of State agencies to evaluate fiscal operations and determine compliance with laws and regulations
  • conducting performance audits to evaluate whether a State agency or program is operating in an economic, efficient and effective manner
  • conducting performance audits of the financial management practices of local school systems
  • operating a fraud hotline for reporting fraud, waste, and abuse of State resources
  • monitoring the financial reporting practices and financial condition of local governments in Maryland
  • conducting special reviews and investigations requested by the Joint Audit Committee

OLA is directed by the Legislative Auditor and is staffed by 110 professional auditors, many of whom are CPAs. OLA’s audits are conducted in accordance with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS) issued by the United States Government Accountability Office. In accordance with GAGAS, the OLA is subject to an external peer review once every three years.  Click HERE for the most recent external peer review report.

OLA’s origin dates back to 1900 when the Examiner of Accounts was first created. Over the years the office’s name, organization and duties have undergone many changes including the expansion of its responsibilities. One of the most significant changes occurred in 1968 when the Office of the State Auditor was transferred from the Executive Branch to the Legislative Branch of State government creating an independent organization to audit Executive and Judicial Branch agencies.





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