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Introduction

In addition to conducting audits of counties, first class cities, and other local governments as required by statute, the Office of the State Auditor can perform audits of local governments based on the request of a local government’s governing body or by a petition of citizens of cities, school districts, counties, watershed districts, and towns. The following sections explain the procedures for governing bodies requesting an audit and for residents that are seeking an audit through the petition process.

The Office of the State Auditor does not review issues that are currently in litigation or where litigation is imminent. Because we must defer to the courts, we wait until litigation is completed before we issue a Petition Audit. See What We Do and Don't Do.

Petition and Request Audit Reports

Request for Audit/Examination by a Governing Body

Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 6.55, the governing body of a local government may request an audit/examination of their local government by following the instructions and completing the request form below:

After the governing body passes the appropriate resolution approving an audit, the request form should be signed by a majority of the members of the governing body and certified by the clerk or recording officer. Then the form is sent to the Office of the State Auditor. After the request is received by the Office of the State Auditor the appropriate officials and employees will be contacted to schedule the audit.

For questions on the audit request process and/or the form, please contact the Office of the State Auditor’s Audit Practice Division at 651-296-2551.

Under Minn. Stat. § 6.715, data relating to an audit are “protected nonpublic data” or “confidential data on individuals” until the time when the final report of the audit has been published by the Office of the State Auditor or the audit is no longer being actively pursued.

Please direct all media inquiries regarding audit requests to Jim Levi at 651-297-3683 or Jim.Levi@osa.state.mn.us. While the Office of the State Auditor can confirm the receipt of a request audit, it does not release information about an audit while it is in progress.

Petition for Audit/Examination

Residents of a local government can petition the Office of the State Auditor to conduct an audit/examination of the books, records, and accounts of a local government. The petition process is established by Minn. Stat. § 6.54 for cities, counties, school districts, and towns, and by Minn. Stat. 103D.355 for watershed districts. There are different requirements depending on the type of local government. The requirements and instructions are provided through the link below:

Petition forms are required to be signed by a minimum number of registered voters for city and county petitions, eligible voters for school district petitions, and resident owners for petitions of watershed districts. The various petition forms are available through the following links:

After signatures are collected, the appropriate county auditor determines whether the required number of qualifying signatures have been obtained. If so, the county auditor certifies the petition and forwards it to the Office of the State Auditor.

If a petition audit is certified by the county auditor, staff from the Office of the State Auditor would then meet with a committee of petitioners to review the petitioners' concerns. The audit staff then would review the concerns to determine the scope of the audit. The audit might not include all the concerns identified by the petitioners if the audit staff determined that the concerns were based on decisions within the discretion of the governing body. Once a certified petition is received, data relating to an audit are “protected nonpublic data” or “confidential data on individuals” until the time when the final report of the audit has been published by the Office of the State Auditor or the audit is no longer being actively pursued. See Minn. Stat. § 6.715.

Please direct all media inquiries regarding petition audits to Communications Director Jim Levi at 651-297-3683 or Jim.Levi@osa.state.mn.us. While the Office of the State Auditor can confirm the receipt of a petition audit, it does not release information about an audit while it is in progress.

Petition for Audit/Examination of a Town

The process for petitions of Minnesota Towns is slightly different in that the process is the result of a vote of town electors at a town meeting, either at the annual town meeting or a special meeting (Minn. Stat. § 365.52) called to discuss an audit/examination. The electors may use the following forms:

Under Minn. Stat. § 6.715, data relating to an audit are “protected nonpublic data” or “confidential data on individuals” until the time when the final report of the audit has been published by the Office of the State Auditor or the audit is no longer being actively pursued.

Please direct all media inquiries regarding petition audits to Communications Director Jim Levi at 651-297-3683 or Jim.Levi@osa.state.mn.us. While the Office of the State Auditor can confirm the receipt of a petition audit, it does not release information about an audit while it is in progress.

For County Auditors:

Certification of Petition

Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 6.54, the county auditor(s) of the county where the local government is located is required to determine and certify the required number of signers have signed the petition. The following forms may be used to certify the petition:

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