News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Harriet Richardson Named as Palo Alto City Auditor
Contact : Claudia Keith, Chief Communications Officer    650-329-2607
Palo Alto, CA—After a competitive national recruitment process, Harriet Richardson has been appointed to serve as Palo Alto City Auditor. Richardson currently serves as Deputy City Auditor for Performance Audits for the Berkeley City Auditor's Office. She will begin her new position on April 15 at a salary of $167,500.

"We are delighted to have an auditor with Harriet’s vast experience and credentials join the City," said Councilmember Greg Scharff, chair of the Council Appointed Officers committee. “Harriet brings an extensive background in planning and conducting audits on a broad range of disciplines in federal, state, county and city government, and will be an asset to the city’s focus on transparency and accountability.”

Richardson is a nationally-recognized, certified government auditor with more than 25 years working in the public sector, including 11 years of executive-level audit management experience. Her experience includes managing and conducting performance audits, program evaluation, and management and policy analysis at the local government level.

She is the recipient of four Association of Local Government Auditors Knighton Awards for Best Audit, and is affiliated with the Association of Local Government Auditors, the Association of Government Accountants, the Advocacy Committee for Auditor Roles in Performance Measurement, and the Institute of Internal Auditors.

As the author of multiple journal articles, she is frequently asked to speak at regional and national audit conferences and was most recently invited to speak at The Institute of Internal Auditors’ 2013 All-Star conference for the “best and most inspiring speakers.”

Richardson holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree of business administration in financial management, both from City University in Seattle, WA.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to serve as the Palo Alto City Auditor,” Richardson said. “I am a big proponent of good government, and I look forward to the office continuing to produce high-quality audits that provide the Council with information that will support its policy decisions, and that will provide the City Manager and departments with information that will help the City operate as efficiently and effectively as possible.” 

The Office of the City Auditor (OCA) conducts performance audits and reviews of City departments, programs, and services. Performance audits provide the City Council, City management, and the public with independent and objective information regarding the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of City programs and activities. The OCA coordinates the annual citizen survey and issues the annual City of Palo Alto Service Efforts and Accomplishments report summarizing costs, workload, and performance results for City services with selected data for the last five years.

The position of City Auditor is one of four Council Appointed Officers who report directly to the City Council and also includes the City Manager, City Attorney and City Clerk.