Frequently Asked Questions
The Office of Legislative Audits is an agency within the Maryland General Assembly’s Department of Legislative Services and reports to the Joint Audit Committee. The committee is established by State statute and consists of 20 General Assembly members. Ten members are appointed from the Senate by the Senate President and ten other members are appointed from the House of Delegates by the Speaker of the House.
OLA is an independent and non-partisan agency that provides audit services to assist the General Assembly in its oversight responsibilities. OLA is directed by the Legislative Auditor and is staffed by approximately 110 auditors, many of whom are certified public accountants or hold other certifications and advanced degrees. OLA has three field audit divisions: Fiscal Compliance, Performance, and Information Systems.
By law, OLA is required to conduct a fiscal compliance audit of each Executive and Judicial Branch agency of State government every three to four years. OLA may also conduct performance audits at its discretion or as requested by the Joint Audit Committee or the Executive Director of the Department of Legislative Services.
Your work will help improve government programs and assure taxpayers' money is effectively used. You’ll evaluate government functions and processes, analyze program activity, and identify better ways for State agencies to protect public resources, secure sensitive citizen data, and ensure that government programs are fulfilling legislative intent and serving the citizens of Maryland.
A fiscal compliance audit is designed to evaluate an agency’s operations and internal controls and determine whether the agency complied with applicable laws and regulations. These audits are conducted by the Fiscal Compliance Audit Division and primarily focus on fiscal operations, information systems (with the assistance of the Information Systems Audit Division), and programs with financial impact on the State.
A performance audit is designed to evaluate whether an agency or program is operating in an economic, efficient, and effective manner or to determine whether desired program results have been achieved. These audits are conducted by the Performance Audit Division at OLA’s discretion or as requested by the Joint Audit Committee or the Executive Director of the Department of Legislative Services.
OLA is also required to conduct a performance audit of each of the 24 local school systems in the State to assess its financial management practices at 6 year intervals, unless there is an exemption as provided for by law. The next audit for those systems that have received an exemption will occur 12 years from their last audit.
Yes. You’ll work on different types of audits such as fiscal compliance audits and performance audits.
OLA is required by law to conduct a fiscal compliance audit of each agency in the Executive and Judicial branches of State government. These audits are conducted at an interval ranging from three to four years, unless the Legislative Auditor determines, on a case-by-case basis, that more frequent audits are required.
OLA auditors are exposed to a wide variety of government sectors which encompass many diverse industries such as health care, transportation, education, agriculture, insurance, law enforcement, investments, and finance just to name a few.
At OLA, we like our staff to obtain broad experience in a variety of audit areas. We value a fresh perspective on our audits and encourage our staff to get experience working on different types of audits in different sectors of government.
The length of an audit varies depending on an agency’s complexity and size, and the audit scope. Some audits are completed within a matter of weeks, while other audits could take six months or more.
This varies depending on the audit. Generally, the audit is managed on a day-to-day basis by a senior auditor who supervises approximately one to five staff auditors. The senior auditor reports to an audit manager who makes periodic visits to the audit site. OLA audit team members work collaboratively sharing resources, offering assistance, and learning from one another. We offer a friendly, supportive culture where mentoring and coaching are part of our daily routine.
No. You generally work with different auditors on each audit and have the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences with more than 100 professional colleagues.
There are no “typical” days for OLA auditors. One day you might be interviewing agency personnel and assessing controls over the agency’s operations. Another day you could be collecting and analyzing audit evidence using computer assisted auditing techniques. You could even be assigned to investigate a tip received from our fraud hotline. Every assignment at OLA offers new experiences, new challenges, new relationships, and new learning opportunities. Our work environment is highly collaborative and we value the thoughtful input of each team member.
Employees spend their first week in our office getting to know some of the OLA staff and participating in our orientation program and new employee training classes.
For your first audit, you’ll be participating in a structured on-the-job training program. You’ll be part of an audit team performing actual audit work and making meaningful contributions to the audit while receiving hands-on training under the close guidance and supervision of an experienced auditor.
Typically, you will be working on-site at the offices of the agency under audit. These agencies are located throughout the State of Maryland, but primarily in the Baltimore, Annapolis, and College Park areas.
OLA auditors commute daily to most audit assignments. Depending on the location, some commuting time can occur during work hours. In addition, approximately 10% of an auditor’s time may be spent on overnight audits.
Our workload is evenly distributed throughout the year. As professionals, our auditors are responsible for completing assigned work when expected. Typically, workloads can be managed during the standard 40-hour work week.
On-the-job progress is assessed on a continuous basis and employees are given feedback on their performance. Auditors receive a formal written performance evaluation after each audit. These evaluations are prepared by the auditor’s immediate supervisor. Auditors also participate in annual progress meetings with management staff to discuss their overall performance for the year and their professional development goals for the upcoming year.
Yes. Many of OLA’s staff members hold professional certifications such as the CPA, CISA, and CFE. We offer numerous programs, including financial assistance, to support your efforts towards professional certification and encourage other professional development opportunities as well.