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AB-562 California State Auditor: interference.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 10/02/2017 09:00 PM
AB562:v94#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 562
CHAPTER 406

An act to amend Section 8545.2 of, and to add Section 8545.6 to, the Government Code, relating to the California State Auditor.

[ Approved by Governor  October 02, 2017. Filed with Secretary of State  October 02, 2017. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 562, Muratsuchi. California State Auditor: interference.
Existing law establishes the California State Auditor’s Office, headed by the California State Auditor and under the direction of the Milton Marks “Little Hoover” Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy, with specified duties that include, among others, conducting financial and performance audits as directed by statute. Existing law also requires the California State Auditor to conduct audits requested by the Legislature’s Joint Legislative Audit Committee relating to a state or local governmental agency or other publicly created entity. Existing law requires any state or local entity or agency to permit the California State Auditor to access specified documents, and makes it a misdemeanor for any person to fail or refuse to permit access, examination, and reproduction of these documents.
This bill would specify that a state agency includes a commission for purposes of the California State Auditor’s authorization to access specified documents of a state agency. The bill would additionally prohibit any person, with intent to deceive or defraud, from obstructing the California State Auditor in the performance of his or her official duties relating to an audit required by statute or requested by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. The bill would make a violation of these provisions punishable by a fine not to exceed $5,000.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 8545.2 of the Government Code is amended to read:

8545.2.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the California State Auditor during regular business hours shall have access to and authority to examine and reproduce, any and all books, accounts, reports, vouchers, correspondence files, and all other records, bank accounts, and money or other property, of any agency of the state, including a commission, whether created by the California Constitution or otherwise, any local governmental entity, including any city, county, and school or special district, and any publicly created entity, for any audit or investigation. Any officer or employee of any agency or entity having these records or property in his or her possession, under his or her control, or otherwise having access to them, shall permit access to, and examination and reproduction thereof, upon the request of the California State Auditor or his or her authorized representative.
(b) For the purposes of access to and examination and reproduction of the records and property described in subdivision (a), an authorized representative of the California State Auditor is an employee or officer of the state or local governmental agency or publicly created entity involved and is subject to any limitations on release of the information as may apply to an employee or officer of the state or local governmental agency or publicly created entity. For the purpose of conducting any audit or investigation, the California State Auditor or his or her authorized representative shall have access to the records and property of any public or private entity or person subject to review or regulation by the public agency or public entity being audited or investigated to the same extent that employees or officers of that agency or public entity have access. No provision of law providing for the confidentiality of any records or property shall prevent disclosure pursuant to subdivision (a), unless the provision specifically refers to and precludes access and examination and reproduction pursuant to subdivision (a). Providing confidential information to the California State Auditor pursuant to this section, including, but not limited to, confidential information that is subject to a privilege, shall not constitute a waiver of that privilege. This subdivision does not apply to records compiled pursuant to Part 1 (commencing with Section 8900) or Part 2 (commencing with Section 10200) of Division 2.
(c) Any officer or person who fails or refuses to permit access and examination and reproduction, as required by this section, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(d) For purposes of this section “confidentiality of records or property” means that the record or property may lawfully be kept confidential as a result of a statutory or common law privilege or any other provision of law.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8545.6 is added to the Government Code, to read:

8545.6.
 Any officer, employee, or person who, with intent to deceive or defraud, commits obstruction of the California State Auditor in the performance of his or her official duties relating to an audit required by statute or requested by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee shall be subject to a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000).