Professional Careers in Public Policy

Office of Legislative Audits

 

The Office of Legislative Audits (OLA) conducts audits and evaluations of all agencies within the Executive and Judicial branches of State government and local school systems and reports the findings to the Joint Audit Committee of the Maryland General Assembly. 

 

OLA conducts approximately 100 audits each year and is one of the largest audit organizations in the State of Maryland.  Audits are conducted in accordance with professional standards and are designed to access the accountability and performance of State agencies and to identify ways to improve government.  A career with OLA offers challenging assignments, a diverse working atmosphere, flexible hours, and competitive compensation, as well as the opportunity to make a difference in one’s community.

 

A variety of assignments allows for exposure to various State functions and operations and interaction with State agency officials.  Staff works with more than 200 State agencies whose annual budgets total more than $32 billion These agencies include transportation systems such as BWI and the Port of Baltimore, universities such as the University of Maryland College Park and Towson State University, tax collecting operations such s the Comptroller of the Treasury, law enforcement agencies such as the State Police and the Office of the Attorney General, and other organizations including the State Lottery and the Stadium Authority.

 

OLA conducts three types of audits:

·         Fiscal/compliance audits which are designed to determine whether an agency has properly managed its fiscal operations, established effective systems and controls, used State resources as intended and complied with legal requirements;

·         Performance audits which are designed to evaluate whether an agency or program is operating in an economic, efficient, and effective manner and to determine whether desired program results have been achieved; and

·         Financial statement audits which express an opinion about whether an agency’s financial statements are fairly presented.

 

OLA offices are located in Baltimore, but staff conducts audits throughout the State.  While auditors commute to most sites, located primarily in Baltimore, Annapolis, and College Park areas, staff may expect to spend approximately ten percent of their time on out-of-town audits.  Auditors assigned to out-of-town audits generally work a four-day week.

 

All OLA professional staff members have bachelor’s degrees in accounting and many hold advanced degrees.  In addition, approximately 65% of the staff holds a CPA certification.  Entry-level positions require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university with a major in accounting or an approved equivalent.  Applicants must also have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (B) in accounting and related courses such as auditing or business law.  An overall GPA of 3.0 is also desirable, but not required.  Senior Auditor positions require a valid and unrevoked certificate to practice as a CPA in the State of Maryland and a minimum of three years of auditing experience, including experience as a Senior Auditor.

 

In addition to a solid educational background, OLA looks for applicants who are ambitious, demonstrate initiative, and have strong analytical, oral, and written communication skills.  Employees are expected to learn quickly, work independently, contribute to a team effort, and be able to adapt to changing work locations and settings.

 

Applicants interested in positions in OLA should inquire at the Office of Legislative Audits, Department of Legislative Services, 301 West Preston Street, Room 1205 Baltimore, MD 21201 or call (410) 767-1400.