Audit Program

The Audits and Assistance Division conducts an ongoing program of mandatory and discretionary audits as permitted by the Political Reform Act (the Act). Audits include campaign statements filed by all candidates for elective offices, statewide offices and local jurisdictions, as well as all reports filed by lobbying firms and lobbyist employers. Statements filed by state ballot measure committees and state general purpose committees are also included. The majority of the audits authorized under the Act are conducted by a special unit of the Franchise Tax Board (FTB). The FTB audit reports are sent to the FPPC for review by the FPPC Enforcement Division. The FPPC is responsible for auditing the statements filed by candidates for State Controller, State Board of Equalization, the Board of Administration of the Public Employees’ Retirement System, and contractual audits of local jurisdictions.

All candidates and committees are required to keep detailed accounts, records, bills, and receipts as necessary to prepare their campaign statements and reports. These are the records that will be requested and must be produced in response to a notice that the FPPC or FTB is conducting an audit of your campaign. Regulation 18401 details the Required Recordkeeping for most campaigns. 


The Selection Process

All candidates for statewide office, Supreme court, court of appeal, and Board of Equalization are subject to audit if they have raised or spent $25,000 or more. 

Additionally, all state ballot measure committees that have spent more than $10,000 and all candidates for the legislature in a special election who have raised or spent $15,000 or more are subject to audit. The FPPC determines the remainder of the audit workload in a series of random drawings conducted shortly after each two-year election cycle (Statewide candidates are selected shortly after each four-year election cycle).

Public Draws 

Statewide candidates who have raised less and spent less than $25,000: 10% of these candidates are selected for audit. Section 90001, subdivisions (b), (e), and (j).

Lobbying firms and lobbyist employers: 25% of the lobbying firms and 25% of the lobbyist employers are selected for audit. Section 90001, subdivisions (a) and (j).

Legislative districts and contested superior court offices: 25% of the senate districts, assembly districts, and contested superior court offices are selected. Candidates who raised or spent $15,000 or more in the selected races are subject to audit. Section 90001, subdivisions (c), (e), and (j).

General purpose committees that have raised or spent more than $10,000: Committees that have not been audited — or that have not been determined to be in compliance — are all subject to audit. Of the previously audited committees that were found to be in compliance with the Act, 25% are selected. Section 90001, subdivision (h) and (j).

Local jurisdictions: A group of twenty local jurisdictions, including eight counties, eight cities, two school districts and two special districts, is selected. If the Franchise Tax Board has additional audit hours available after completion of this workload, a second group of twenty jurisdictions is provided. Section 90001, subdivision (i)(1) and Reg. 18991.

CalPERS Board of Administration: Candidates for the Board of Administration of the Public Employees’ Retirement System are subject to audit if they have received contributions aggregating $5,000 or more for an election. Section 90001, subdivision (i)(2) and Reg. 18997.

To view the draw results, visit the Drawing Schedule & Results page.