Governor Brown signs bill promoting government transparency and accountability by punishing intentional obstruction of state audits

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Torrance, CA – This week, Edmund G. Brown, Jr. signed Assembly Bill (AB) 562, the Audit Protection Act, jointly authored by Assemblymembers Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) and Phil Ting (D-San Francisco).  This new law authorizes a civil penalty of up to $5,000 on anyone who, with intent to deceive or defraud, obstructs the California State Auditor in the performance of an audit.  

As Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, Assemblymember Muratsuchi introduced AB 562 in response to the State Auditor’s 2017 audit report finding that the University of California Office of the President intentionally interfered with their audit that led to the discovery of over $175 million in undisclosed reserves.

“AB 562 strengthens the State Auditor’s enforcement authority to promote government transparency and accountability,” stated Assemblymember Muratsuchi.  “This new law will give the State Auditor an additional tool to ensure that all public agencies cooperate with audits and are held accountable.”

Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi represents California’s 66th Assembly District, which includes El Camino Village, Gardena, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Torrance, and West Carson.  He serves as Chairman of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee and the Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace.  Muratsuchi is a member of the Assembly Committees on Budget, Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials, Natural Resources, Utilities and Energy, and Veterans Affairs.