Tax News
Are You Familiar with our Political Audit Reform Program?

As part of the Political Reform Act of 1974, California voters created our Political Reform Audit (PRA) program which was intended to improve political entities’ disclosure and accountability. It is a separate, nontax audit program and although part of FTB, the policy prohibits any information exchange with the department’s other programs. The goal of this program is not only to ensure compliance with the Political Reform Act, but also education to improve future compliance.

A Political Reform Audit evaluates an entity’s recordkeeping and disclosure practices for compliance with the Political Reform Act. Our findings are then sent to the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the audited entity. Depending on the entity, we may also send local filing officers and district attorneys copies.

In most cases, the FPPC randomly selects entities for audit. They are often:

  • Candidate-controlled committees.
  • State ballot measure, state general purpose, and primarily-formed committees.
  • Lobbyists, lobbying firms, and lobbyist employers.

We audit the selected entities to ensure independence and objectivity. We do not audit candidates for State Controller, the Board of Equalization, or the Public Employees Retirement System’s Board of Administration. The FPPC conducts those audits.

The Secretary of State or the local filing officer makes the report available to the public. If we identify violations, the FPPC, and possibly other enforcement agencies, review the reports and determine whether to open an investigation.

If you have questions about FPPC’s enforcement process, the Political Reform Act or FPPC regulations, go to FPPC’s website or call them at 866.275.3772 or 916.322.5660.

If you have questions about an audit, contact either the auditor that handles your case or the Political Reform Audit Program’s main number at 916.845.4847.

References

FTB 780, General Purpose Committee Audit Questionnaire
FTB 781, Measure Committee Audit Questionnaire
FTB 782, Candidate Audit Questionnaire

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