Program part of effort by Auditor Harmon, County Attorneys Association to increase accountability, transparency for all 120 county attorney offices
FRANKFORT, KY – On Tuesday, December 13, 2022, Auditor Mike Harmon's office released the first five agreed-upon procedures (AUPs) for select county attorney offices. The county attorneys for Boyle, Madison, Marshall, Meade, and Nelson are among 23 county attorney offices who volunteered to participate in a pilot program with the goal of making county attorney offices across the Commonwealth more accountable and transparent to taxpayers.
Born out of a special examination of select county attorney offices released in 2020, which identified issues including the payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars in 'bonus' payments by a former county attorney to his wife, Auditor Harmon's office worked with the Kentucky County Attorneys Association to develop an AUP pilot program and requested volunteers to participate in the first round of reviews. Like an audit, an AUP is a type of financial review where an auditor performs specific procedures and reports on the results.
“When I have traveled the Commonwealth speaking to various civic and chamber groups, I'm frequently asked why county attorney offices don't receive annual audits like our local fiscal courts, county sheriffs and county clerks," said Auditor Harmon. “The simple answer is current Kentucky law doesn't require it. But I do believe it is a good idea that county attorneys receive regular oversight through the auditing process."
The AUP volunteer program is part of a concerted effort by Auditor Harmon and the county attorneys association to raise the level of accountability and transparency for county attorneys' offices. That work led to the passage of House Bill 782 during the 2022 Regular Session of the General Assembly. HB 782 establishes clear end-of-term office transfer protocols for county attorneys and requires annual financial reporting by county attorneys to the Prosecutors Advisory Council beginning July 1, 2023.
You can review the first five county attorney AUPs, as well as future county attorney AUPs as they are released on our website.
The Auditor of Public Accounts ensures that public resources are protected, accurately valued, properly accounted for, and effectively employed to raise the quality of life of Kentuckians.
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