OAG 93-2


January 21, 1993










Hon. Earl R. Marshall

Greenup County Sheriff

P.O. Box 318

Greenup, Kentucky 41144-0318

Dear Sheriff Marshall:

By letter of December 19, 1992, you ask, in substance, whether, in view of Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) 64.810, the State Auditor's office must have a valid reason for performing the annual audit of the books of a county office, rather than allowing a county fee official to employ a certified public accountant to perform such audit.

In our view the State Auditor of Public Accounts may elect to perform an audit of certain county offices pursuant to KRS 64.810 without giving a reason for so doing. Discussion follows.

KRS 64.810(1)(a) provides that:

Any fiscal court, county clerk, or sheriff may employ a certified public accountant to audit the books, accounts, and papers of the county or his office in lieu of the audit conducted by the State Auditor of Public Accounts required by KRS 43.070, if the Auditor of Public Accounts declines to perform the audit or has failed to respond to written notice of intent to employ a certified public accountant within thirty (30) days of receipt of the notice.

(Emphasis added.)

In view of the language of KRS 64.810(1)(a), emphasized above, if the State Auditor of Public Accounts wants to conduct the audit of county offices subject to such provision, he may do so. He need not express a reason for so doing.

Under the language of the provision you have asked about (KRS 64.810), a fiscal court, county clerk, or sheriff has authority to employ a certified public accountant to perform the audit called for by KRS 43.070, only if the Auditor of Public Accounts declines to perform such audit, or has failed to respond within thirty days to a written notice of intent to employ a certified accountant for such purpose.

Your request does not indicate that your question involves a documented emergency requiring an immediate audit. Accordingly, this response does not address employment of a certified public accountant in such circumstance.

Sincerely,

Chris Gorman

Attorney General





Gerard R. Gerhard

Assistant Attorney General