How to Request a Forensic Audit of a County Facility
During a forensic audit, an accountant reviews a business, non-profit organization or government agency’s finances. These audits only occur during litigation. An audit can be performed on a county facility if the state in which the county lies has waived its governmental immunity. In this situation, county documents will be considered public records and, as such, are reviewable. As of 2010, all states have waived their immunity. Requesting a forensic audit is the same for a county facility as for a private business.
Identify why an audit is necessary. For a forensic audit to be permitted by the court, an individual must require information that is unobtainable by any other method. This is often the case when the litigation concerns financial mismanagement or embezzlement. The first step in requesting a forensic audit is to ensure that only through an audit can the required, important information be obtained.
Draft a motion requesting the forensic audit. This motion should be titled “Motion for Forensic Audit,” or something similar. The top portion of the motion must contain the case number and style, which is your and the county’s official names. In the first paragraph, request the forensic audit and name the accountant that you intend to hire to conduct the audit. In the subsequent paragraph, state the information that you expect to obtain through the audit. In the final paragraphs, provide evidence that the information is unobtainable through other means.
File the motion with the court handling the litigation. The motion cannot be considered by the court until properly filed and made part of the court case’s file. You must also mail a copy to the opposing party, which in this case is the county. If the county does not object to your request, it will indicate such in writing and you will then be allowed to conduct your audit.
Schedule a hearing on the motion, if the county opposes your request for a forensic audit within the time allotted them for a response, typically 20 days. The county must attend the hearing unless it waives its right to appear. At the hearing, both sides will argue their stance on the issue. At the end of the hearing or within a few days, the court will issue its ruling.
Identify the auditor. If the court permits your audit, it will also select the accountant and include this information in its ruling. If the other party agreed to your suggested auditor, the court will likely appoint that individual. If the county opposed your choice, the court will require the parties to agree to an auditor and submit the auditor’s name to the court for approval or will appoint the auditor from a list provided by the state bar association.