Checks and Balances
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The South Florida Water Management District has several ways that citizens can inquire or comment about our agency, including public records requests, submitting an inquiry to the District Ombuds Office or by contacting the District Office of Inspector General in cases of illegal or fraudulent conduct. Links for the District Ombuds and Inspector General are located in the Related Contacts box on this page.

Office of Ombuds & Open Government

The Office of Ombuds and Open Government provides citizens a central point of contact for timely responses to inquiries, complaints or requests for public records. The office works with District management and staff as well as responsible external agency sources to address citizen concerns.

The Office strives to build public trust by acting as a citizen liaison. We work to facilitate communication on issues of concern at the most appropriate level, respond to public records requests, and promote accessible, responsive government. This Office is the primary contact for public records requests.

The South Florida Water Management District established an Ombudsman's Office in 1996 and appointed the first Ombudsman on June 20, 1996. The Office of Ombuds and Open Government is part of Regulatory and Public Affairs, and submits quarterly reports of its activities.

Jurisdiction of District Ombudsman

The Office serves residents in the District's sixteen-county service area and responds to complaints against the South Florida Water Management District only. The Office does not have authority to change an agency determination or policy, or to bring legal actions. However, the Office does monitor trends and makes recommendations to improve performance. more »

Frequently Asked Questions
What does "Open Government" mean? »

What is a Public Record? »

How do I submit a Public Records Request to the South Florida Water Management District? »

How much can the South Florida Water Management District charge for public documents? »

How long does it take to fulfill a public records request? »

Is the South Florida Water Management District required to give out information from public records or produce public records in a particular form? »

If I want to review records at a South Florida Water Management District office, when can I do so? »

Who can I contact with concerns about South Florida Water Management District operations, governance, programs, departments, or offices? »

Are any records exempt from Public Records or Florida Sunshine law provisions? »



Office of Inspector General

The Office of Inspector General's mission is to provide citizens living within the boundaries of the South Florida Water Management District, including their Governing Board, elected representatives, and District management, with an independent view of operations through objective and professional audits, investigations, reviews, and evaluations of the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of taxpayer-financed programs.

Contact us to report significant instances of waste, misconduct, or mismanagement including the following:

  • Illegal or fraudulent conduct that endangers the public's health, safety, or welfare
  • Gross mismanagement
  • Gross waste of public funds
  • Gross neglect of duty

Our Authority

The legal basis for the Inspector General's authority to conduct these audits is contained in Chapter 20.055, F.S. Agency inspector general. Chapter 373.079, F.S. authorizes the Governing Board to appoint an Inspector General whose scope of work is unrestricted. Our office is independent of District management and cannot be prevented "from initiating, carrying out, or completing any audit or investigation." As such, we also have the authority to audit the records of private firms and nonprofit organizations which are awarded contracts by the District or receive District funds through cooperative agreements. We are also responsible for advising on performance measures, standards and procedures for evaluating our programs, and assessing the reliability and validity of information we provide which measures our programs, and make recommendations for improvement, if necessary. We also help ensure that there is effective coordination and cooperation with federal and state auditors with a view towards facilitating their work and avoiding duplication.

Whistle-Blower's Act »
Investigation »
Complaint Process »
Access to Records »
Audit Standards »
Quality Assurance Reviews »

Audit Process

We prepare an annual audit plan each fiscal year based upon a periodic risk assessment. The annual plan is reviewed and approved by the Governing Board's Audit Committee. From time to time, the Executive Director and his Department heads may request that we perform an audit, investigation, or review. We evaluate the merits of these requests before they are initiated. The annual plan may subsequently be amended to reflect these projects after review by the Audit Committee.

A typical audit has several interrelated stages or activities. These include an Opening Conference, Preliminary Audit Survey, Fieldwork Phase, Preliminary Audit Survey and Closing Conference.

Opening Conference »
Preliminary Audit Survey »
Fieldwork Phase »
Preliminary Audit Findings »
Closing Conference »

Responsibilities of the District's Management and Staff:

  • Have a responsibility to apply resources efficiently, effectively, and economically so that taxpayers receive value for their money
  • Are accountable to the public and to other levels and branches of government
  • Are responsible for establishing and maintaining effective internal control systems to ensure:
    • Goals and objectives are met
    • District assets and resources are safeguarded
    • Laws and regulations are followed
    • Reliable data are obtained, maintained, and accurately reported

We understand the audit process can put a strain on the auditee. Our auditors are always seeking ways to reduce disruption to operations and to minimize the additional burden on staff. We seek and welcome your cooperation during our review, as well as your constructive suggestions for improving the audit process.


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SFWMD Headquarters: 3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, Florida 33406
561-686-8800 | 1-800-432-2045 (Florida Only)