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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 have been 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 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. The following audit firms are available for the current engagements:

  • Carroll and Company, CPAs
  • Warren Averett LLC
  • CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
  • CALAS Group

Results of Previous Audits

Year of
Engagement
Compensation
Audited
Number of
Lobbying Firms
Selected
Committee Meeting
Agenda

(Click on link to access
meeting packet)

Location of Summary
Information

(Beginning page number
of meeting packet)

2020 2019 26 February 4, 2021 339
2019 2018 24 December 12, 2019 422
2018 2017 26 February 21, 2019 340
2017 2016 26 December 7, 2017 411
2016 2015 27 February 23, 2017 370
2015 2014 26 November 2, 2015 47

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: May 2021