City Services Auditor

The City Services Auditor manages the City’s adherence to voter-approved mandates in the City’s Charter and codes that call for reporting on public service quality and quantity to the citizens and the City’s leadership and for auditing throughout the government.

Front entrance doors of San Francisco City Hall at dusk

The City Services Auditor (CSA) includes two divisions—the Audits Division and the City Performance Division. The Audits Division is the City’s internal auditor, providing performance, financial, and compliance auditing and managing the City’s Whistleblower program.

The Audits Division provides an independent, risk-based assessment of the City’s $14 billion budget for major public service offerings, infrastructure, suppliers, contractors, and community-based organizations. Audits staff has expertise in performance and compliance audits, investigations, data analytics, network and system security evaluations, capital project and contractor audits, and operations and leading practices assessments.

The Audits Division’s goals include:

  • Conduct performance audits of city departments, contractors, and functions to improve efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery and business processes.
  • Investigate complaints of fraud, waste, or abuse of city resources received through the whistleblower hotline and website.
  • Provide actionable audit recommendations to city leaders to promote and enhance accountability and improve the overall performance and efficiency of city government. 

The Audits Division produces a wide range of audit and assessment reports relating to the City's revenue, spending, and programs. Some are technical in nature, such as bond expenditures reviews, lease compliance audits, and security reports on the City’s systems. Others provide a broader review of departments or programs, such as reports on the efficiency and effectiveness of departmental programs/functions or audits of the City’s management of construction contracts. Links to these documents are found using the Report Search tool.

History & Context

A November 2003 ballot measure created the City Services Auditor within the Controller's Office. Under the City Charter Appendix F, the City Services Auditor has broad authority to:

  • Report on the level and effectiveness of San Francisco’s public services and benchmark the City to other public agencies and jurisdictions.
  • Conduct financial and performance audits of City departments, contractors, and functions to assess efficiency and effectiveness of processes and services.
  • Operate a whistleblower hotline and website and investigate reports of waste, fraud, and abuse of City resources.
  • Ensure the financial integrity and improve the overall performance and efficiency of City government.

With San Francisco's budget of over $14 billion a year, the citizens and elected leaders of the City need the objective and independent analysis provided by the City Services Auditor. Findings and recommendations from the audit and performance management programs help save tax dollars and improve public services. 

Internship Opportunities

The City Services Auditor (CSA) Audit Intern Program provides an opportunity to explore a career in government performance auditing and public service. Interns will assist in assessing the performance of programs in a dynamic local government setting that includes both city and county functions and services. Interns will refine their critical thinking, analytical, writing, and technical skills as they work to ensure the City and County of San Francisco's functions and programs are efficient and effective.

As an audit intern, you may:

  • Audit city departments under the guidance of experienced audit staff.
  • Learn about and assess the effectiveness of departmental processes.
  • Determine whether processes are functioning efficiently and effectively.
  • Make meaningful recommendations to departments that are intended to improve city services.
  • Assist with fraud hotline report processing and investigations of alleged misuse of city funds and resources.
  • Evaluate city cybersecurity programs to determine compliance with policies and standards and help assess third-party risks.

Examples of completed projects include:

  • An audit of the Sheriff’s staffing and operations, which found that the Sheriff’s overtime had increased due to new and expanded security requests, increased leave, and a hiring surge. The report recommended changes including developing a staffing master plan and renegotiating union contract terms that contribute to overtime use.
  • A cable car cash collection audit that found that conductors did not always collect fares and that poor cash handling procedures had opened the door for fraud and theft.
  • Fraud bulletins, which help city departments implement stronger processes to safeguard city resources.
  • An audit that examined citywide construction practices and found that adopting leading practices could improve the City’s construction contractor bid pool.
  • Assessments to determine whether network connections are vulnerable to compromise through cyberattacks such as ransomware.


Find out about application steps and eligibility

To learn about our paid internship opportunities, please contact the Controller's HR team at

Last updated October 20, 2023