Q May the council in a mayor-council form of government establish the office of internal auditor as a separate and independent office to perform audits as directed by a committee?

A The city council is authorized to establish a municipal department for proper municipal purposes; however, once the municipal department is established, administration of said department would fall under the jurisdiction of the mayor as the chief executive of the municipality. Section 21-8-23(1) authorizes the council to establish “a department of administration and such other departments as the council may establish by ordinance.” The employment of an internal auditor does not meet the requirement imposed by Section 21-8-13(2). Section 21-8-13(2) requires the council to cause a full and complete examination of all accounts of the municipality by a competent, independent accountant…” (Attorney General’s Opinion to Banks, May 11, 2018)