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Court Operations Division


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Court Auditors


The purpose of the Internal Auditing function is to provide the AOC Director and AOC management with reasonable assurance that the state courts are in compliance with financial, administrative and procedural policies.  Internal auditing practices are conducted in accordance with the New Mexico Rules Annotated, New Mexico Statutes Annotated, Data Standards, Odyssey Standard Operating Procedures, New Mexico Judicial Branch Personnel Rules, Administrative Office of the Courts policies, procedures and directives, local court rules and policies, Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS), and the Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing promulgated by the Institute of Internal Auditors.

The Internal Auditing function also serves to promote accountability, public trust, and confidence in the state’s courts.


The objectives of the Internal Auditors are to provide independent, objective consulting services intended to assist courts in identifying any practices or operations the court may wish to improve.  The Internal Auditors assist the Court Operations Division in accomplishing its objectives by providing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of state court operations and services.  It should be noted that the audit process always identifies errors but uses them to help courts make appropriate changes.


The Internal Auditors, in the discharge of their duties, will be accountable to the AOC director and AOC management by:
1.    Providing written reports related to findings identified during internal audits.
2.    Reporting significant issues and findings with regards to state court operations,           administration, and delivery of services.
3.    Providing information periodically on the status and results of audits, the annual           audit plan and other relevant information requested by the Director and/or AOC           management.


The scope of the Internal Audit function is to determine whether state court operations and their adherence to outlined policies and procedures are adequate, consistent and of high quality.  This includes:
1.    Reviewing the reliability of financial and operating information.
2.    Reviewing the systems established to ensure compliance with established laws,           regulations, policies, and procedures.
3.    Reviewing the means of verifying and safeguarding court assets.
4.    Reviewing and appraising the efficiency and utilization of court staff and                         resources.
5.    Reviewing operations and programs to determine whether results are                               contributing to the overall effectiveness of the court and its delivery of services.
6.    Reviewing specific court operations and issues at the request of the AOC Director         and/or AOC management.
7.    Monitoring and evaluating court processes in areas that need follow-up.



Desk audits are data based audits that are performed by generating reports through Odyssey and using the information obtained to identify potential errors.  When desk audits are performed, reports are generated and evaluated for every court in the state.  Potential findings are documented on schedules that provide the case information and error(s) identified.  This information is emailed to the court managers for review, verification and correction of the errors.  Courts may be requested to respond to the audit findings.  Once a response has been received, and the court has made any necessary corrections, the data reports are run again to ensure that the errors have been corrected.  Statistical data for errors identified and corrected as well as the cause of the errors is maintained and provided to AOC management.


Operational audits are intensive reviews of a court’s overall operations.  These audits include review of a court’s financial information, interviews with staff, observations of staff, and judge interactions with the public, and in depth review of criminal case files.  Audit findings identified are formally documented in an internal audit report that is presented to the Presiding Judge and Court Manager.  Courts are requested to provide written responses to the audit findings.  The responses are incorporated in the audit report before the report is finalized.  Approximately 90% of all operational audits conducted result in a six month follow-up.  The follow-up visit is scheduled approximately six months after the delivery of the audit report.  The purpose of the follow-up is to evaluate the effectiveness of the corrective measures implemented by the court to address audit findings.


Special audit projects are assigned by AOC management.  Any number of factors may result in a special project audit.  Some examples include requests from the Chief Justice, requests made by a party in a case, and follow-up for concerns raised at a particular court.  The scope for these audits is usually limited to a specific area of concern.  Audit reports are typically prepared for special project audits, although the format may be modified to fit the particular circumstances of the audit.