Senate committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes. Deletes all of the proposed additional responsibilities added to GS 147-64.6(c) (governing the duties and responsibilities of the State Auditor) that would have required the State Auditor to conduct audits in line with generally accepted accounting standards as prescribed by national bodies and the reporting requirement of criminal misconduct. Now only amends GS 147-64.6(d) as follows. Requires the State Auditor to retain audit reports, in addition to the other documents listed in the statute that directly pertain to the work of the Auditor. Deletes proposed organizational changes to GS 147-64.6(d1) and (d2).
Deletes requirement that the Auditor provide its complete file and all supportive material related to an audit or investigation to any representatives of State or federal government who request those records in connection with a matter before them, including a criminal investigation. Changes that requirement to a requirement that the Auditor provide pertinent work papers and other supportive material to those representatives in connection with an official civil or criminal investigation or potential prosecution being conducted under the authority of their office.
Deletes provisions permitting auditor to seek protective order. Instead, specifies process Auditor must undertake if withholding from production any requested papers or supportive materials based on a claim that the production is barred by law. Allows the requesting party to challenge the Auditor’s claim by commencing a civil action in superior court. Specifies that the requesting party has the burden of proving that the withheld material is not prohibited by law. Deletes proposed changes to confidentiality provisions of GS 147-64.6(d) so that statutory language remains unchanged.
Bill Summaries: S80 (2023-2024 Session)
Bill S 80 (2023-2024)Summary date: Apr 4 2023 - View summary
Bill S 80 (2023-2024)Summary date: Feb 7 2023 - View summary
Amends GS 147-64.6 (governing the duties and responsibilities of the State Auditor), as follows. When the Auditor has reason to believe that information received or collected may be evidence of criminal misconduct, requires the Auditor to report the information to the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and the DA for the county where the alleged misconduct occurred (currently the Auditor can report to either the SBI or the county DA). Bars the Auditor from making any extrajudicial statements that have a likelihood of prejudicing a criminal investigation, an adjudicatory proceeding during a pending criminal investigation, or subsequent prosecution.
Requires the Auditor to provide the complete file and other pertinent work papers and all supportive material related to an audit or investigation to any representatives of State or federal government who request those records in connection with a matter before them, including a criminal investigation (currently, the Auditor has the option to provide such materials). Specifies that providing these materials is in order to avoid duplicating investigative effort in addition to audit effort. Permits the Auditor to seek a protective order regarding the use and disclosure of all or part of a record upon receiving such request by filing a civil action in superior court in the county where jurisdiction over a related potential criminal action exists. Requires the Auditor to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the order is either necessary to protect the confidential or privileged nature of all or part of the record or is required by other State or federal law. Requires the Auditor to provide the requesting party 10 days’ notice. Requires the court to hold a hearing if requested by either party.
Designates audit work papers as confidential except as otherwise provided in GS 147-64.6 or to comply with a court order. "Court order" replaces more specific language requiring an order from the Wake County Superior Court issued after a hearing finding that access is necessary to the administration of justice.