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Joint Legislative Auditing Committee

Joint Legislative Auditing Committee

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Audits of Lobbying Firm Compensation Reports

Current Activity

2021 Selection of Lobbying Firms: On February 23, 2021, the following lobbying firms were randomly selected for an audit of their 2020 Lobbying Firm Compensation Reports:

Executive Branch Firms
1. Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
2. Deborah Lawson Governmental Affairs (Retired)
3. Marin and Sons Inc
4. ML Bowen Advisors LLC
5. The Peeples Group
6. Smith & Associates
7. Acclaim Strategies Inc
8. Capitol Strategy Group
9. CLD & Associates LLC
10. People Who Think
11. Kurkin Forehand Brandes LLP

Legislative Branch Firms
1. Mike Haridopolos
2. The Arnold Law Firm
3. Wexford Strategies
4. Nabors Giblin & Nickerson PA
5. Strategos Public Affairs LLC
6. Paul W. Wharton Ph.D. Consulting Inc
7. Fraser Solutions
8. Meenan PA
9. Thomas L. Singleton Consulting Inc
10. Black Consulting, LLC
11. McConnaughhay, Coonrod, Pope,
Weaver & Stern, PA
12. Mang & Santurri PA

To determine these firms, staff of the Auditor General’s Office generated two lists of random numbers that were matched to alphabetical lists of the 344 executive branch lobbying firms and the 390 legislative branch lobbying firms, in order to meet the 3% audit requirement for each branch.

Additional random numbers were generated, as a precaution, in the event it is determined that any of the above firms cannot be audited. An example would be if an organization filed a compensation report in an abundance of caution; however, it does not meet the definition of a lobbying firm. If this occurs, the next firm on the appropriate list will be selected. The additional firms selected were:

Executive Branch (12) Melaney Cordell and Associates, (13) J. D. Hicks & Associates Inc, (14) Travel Green Florida Inc., (15) Prutsman & Associates PA, (16) Nabors Giblin & Nickerson PA, and (17) Johnston & Stewart Government Strategies, LLC.

Legislative Branch (13) Beth Kirkland Consulting, LLC, (14) Arena Public Affairs, LLC, (15) Calhoun Management & Consulting, LLC, (16) Maury Rawlins Brown, (17) Screven Watson & Associates, LLC, and (18) Donald G. Ray & Associates.

All firms selected for an audit will initially be notified via email. Audits are scheduled to begin on or after May 3, 2021, and to be completed by June 30, 2021. Once lobbying firms receive the packet of detailed information, they may select an audit firm of their choice from the list provided within 30 days.

Summary

The Joint Legislative Auditing Committee (Committee) is assigned responsibilities related to audits of lobbying firm compensation reports. All executive and legislative branch lobbying firms are required to file a quarterly compensation report; these reports are subject to an audit. In accordance with s. 11.40(3), F.S., the Committee’s responsibilities include: (1) adopting guidelines to govern the audits; (2) developing procedure for the selection of independent contractor auditors; (3) maintaining a list of no less than 10 independent contract auditors approved to conduct the audits; and (4) providing for a system of random selection of the lobbying firms to be audited.

Selection of Audit Firms: In late 2018, the Legislature received six proposals in response to a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the purpose of soliciting CPAs / CPA firms to perform attestation services relating to quarterly lobbying firm compensation reports. Proposals were received from and contracts were executed with the following firms:

  • Carroll and Company, CPAs
  • Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC
  • Warren Averett LLC
  • CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
  • RMJ Financial LLC
  • CALAS Group

Note: RMJ Financial LLC declined to be considered for the contract renewal in 2021.

2020 Selection of Lobbying Firms: In February 2020, 26 lobbying firms were randomly selected for an audit of their 2019 lobbying firm compensation reports. All audits were completed by December 16, 2020. The results of the audits were presented to the Committee on February 4, 2021, and are available in the meeting packet, beginning on page 228.

2019 Selection of Lobbying Firms: In February 2019, 24 lobbying firms were randomly selected for an audit of their 2018 lobbying firm compensation reports. All audits were completed by September 18, 2019. The results of the audits were presented to the Committee on December 12, 2019, and are available in the meeting packet, beginning on page 422.

2018 Selection of Lobbying Firms: In February 2018, 26 lobbying firms were randomly selected for an audit of their 2017 lobbying firm compensation reports. All audits were completed by August 30, 2018. The results of the audits were presented to the Committee on February 21, 2019, and are available in the meeting packet, beginning on page 340.

2017 Selection of Lobbying Firms: In February 2017, 26 lobbying firms were randomly selected for an audit of their 2016 lobbying firm compensation reports. All audits were completed by September 1, 2017. The results of the audits were presented to the Committee on December 7, 2017, and are available in the meeting packet, beginning on page 411.

2016 Selection of Lobbying Firms: In February 2016, 27 lobbying firms were randomly selected for an audit of their 2015 lobbying firm compensation reports. All audits were completed by August 15, 2016. The results of the audits were presented to the Committee on February 23, 2017, and are available in the meeting packet, beginning on page 370.

2015 Selection of Lobbying Firms: In February 2015, 26 lobbying firms were randomly selected for an audit of their 2014 lobbying firm compensation reports. All audits were completed by August 31, 2015. The results of the audits were presented to the Committee on November 2, 2015, and are available in the meeting packet, beginning on page 46. This was the first year in which audits were conducted.

Additional Resources

The documents below are in the PDF format and require the free Acrobat Reader for viewing:

If you have questions, please contact the Committee’s Office at jlac@leg.state.fl.us or at (850) 487-4110. Questions related to lobbying firms’ compliance with the Guidelines adopted by the Committee (compensation required to be reported on the quarterly reports, records to be maintained, etc.) must be provided in writing.

Updated: February 23, 2021