County Auditor

County Auditor Overview

The County Auditor serves as an independent audit function, reporting to the Arlington County Board with additional guidance from the Audit Committee.  The County Auditor conducts independent performance and operational audits of County departments, programs, and services. These audits focus on program efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency. Chris Horton is the current County Auditor.

The County Board appoints the County Auditor under the authority of § 15.2-709.2 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended. The County Board adopted a Board Charge in July 2015 establishing the position, and revised the Board Charge on June 20, 2017 to develop further the role of the County Auditor and the Audit Committee. The Board Charge serves as the Audit Charter and covers numerous topics. These topics include powers and duties; access to information; the use of Government Auditing Standards (Yellow Book Standards); and the composition, roles, and responsibilities of the Audit Committee.

Annual Audit Work Plans

The County Board approves the County Auditor’s Annual Audit Work Plan (Work Plan). The Work Plan is based on a risk assessment performed by the County Auditor, and refined in consultation with the Audit Committee. Information gathered in the risk assessment process included County data, such as budget documents, County Board work sessions.  The County Auditor also holds discussions with County Board members, management, and Audit Committee members. The Work Plan is designed to be flexible to respond to changing needs as they arise. The Work Plan may be altered during the year, in consultation with the County Board, Audit Committee, and County management. The Work Plans also include an Audit Horizon, which lists audits that could be performed in future years. Finally, Work Plans include non-audit activities, such as training, risk assessment activities, and contractor oversight.

Annual Work Plans are provided below.

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee provides guidance to the County Auditor and the County Board is considering risks that can be addressed in audits of County programs. The Audit Committee, which meets at least quarterly, plays a vital role in advising the County Auditor and the County Board on the Annual Audit Work Plan. The Audit Committee also receives annual updates from the County Internal Audit program, which resides in the Department of Management and Finance, and receives and annual update regarding the completed annual financial statement audit conducted by the County’s independent external auditor (currently Cherry Bekaert).

Audits Issued

This section contains links to the full audit report, as well as two specific sections of the report: the Report Highlights and the Management Response. Within the first year after the publication date, the County Auditor will perform follow-up activities. The purpose of follow-up is to determine whether recommended actions have been implemented. The results of the completed follow-up reviews will also be publicly-issued and posted here.

Emergency Communications Center Overtime

(Report  2018-01) Full report - Title and Number, published March 20, 2018

Emergency Communications Center Overtime (Report 2018-01)

Publication date: March 20, 2018

Highlights page

ECC Overtime – Report Highlights

Management response

ECC Overtime – Management Response

Follow-up Reports

Follow-up status report – Issued 1-30-2020

Follow-up status report -- Issued 8-16-2021(PDF, 120KB)

Technology Services - Contract Management

Fleet Management

Full Report - Title and Number

Fleet Management Letter Report (Report 2021-02)(PDF, 743KB)

Publication date: 11-24-2021

Executive Summary

This executive report, or “letter report,” summarizes the findings and recommendations from the Arlington County Auditor’s audit of vehicle fleet management within Arlington County. The Equipment Bureau of the Department of Environmental Services (DES) provides fleet management for the County.

The audit resulted in four observations. First, the process for developing the rental book, which is the list of all County and Arlington Public Schools (APS) vehicles with their annual cost and maintenance cost, appears sound. Second, several improvements to the fleet utilization policy were made during the audit and will improve the efficient use and proper sizing of the fleet. Third, an analysis of FY 2018 maintenance work orders showed that timeliness was generally good but that there was room for improvement. Finally, the audit showed the safety processes with the Equipment Bureau were valuable, and that some improvements are needed to support incident prevention. Eight recommendations are provided alongside the four observation areas.

Management Response

Fleet Management - Management Response(PDF, 410KB)


Follow-ups: In Focus

As the number of follow-up reports have increased it is valuable to see the overall progress toward implementing audit recommendations. The County Auditor has compiled all recommendations from all audit reports issued into the following spreadsheet. Users can access the spreadsheet to assess overall progress toward full implementation of audit recommendations, filtered by attributes such as report topic or implementation status. This spreadsheet will be updated after the completion of each follow-up report, and will be presented at each Audit Committee meeting as part of the County Auditor's status report. 

As of January 2022, the County Auditor's reports contained a total of 72 recommendations. The following dashboard provides the overall follow-up status at a glance.



Partially Implemented


Not Implemented


No Follow-up Work Completed Yet  17
 Not Implemented - Management Disagreed with Recommendation  1


Upcoming Audit Reports

  • Non-profit Funding Allocation
  • CARES Act Funding Documentation
  • Risk Management

County Auditor Policies and Procedures

The County Auditor has developed a policies and procedures manual, which serves as a reference for the County Auditor, any audit staff, and peer reviewers. The manual also helps to explain the County Auditor’s work to those outside of the program.  The manual helps to set the environment for adherence to Generally Accepted Government Audit Standards, which are the professional standards used by the County Auditor.  The manual is part of an overarching process of maintaining and communicating quality controls required under professional standards.

Internal Audit Services

In addition to the County Auditor, there is a County Internal Audit Program, which exists within the Department of Management and Finance. The Internal Audit Program is a combination of internal audit resources and external consulting services. More information about the Internal Audit program is available on its webpage, including the annual work plan and recent audit reports.

The County Auditor strives to work collaboratively with the Internal Audit Program to reduce duplication of effort and impact. However, a previous audit by the Internal Audit Program does not restrict the County Auditor’s ability to perform an audit in the same area, if deemed necessary by the County Board within the Annual Audit Work Plan.

Arlington Public Schools Internal Auditor

Arlington Public Schools (APS) has an internal auditor, separate from the County Auditor and the Department of Management and Finance’s Internal Audit Program. The APS Auditor reports to the APS Audit Committee, and ultimately to the APS School Board. This structure was developed to help the Internal Auditor remain independent of APS management. More information about the APS Internal Audit function is available on the APS website, including the current Audit Plan and recent APS audits.

The County Auditor does not audit APS programs, except as may be related to ongoing audits of County programs and activities.