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San Jose Auditor’s Office

Summer 2013 Fellow: Brandon Camhi

Faculty Mentor: David Crane

Office Description:

The mission of the Office of the City Auditor is to independently assess and report on San José’s city government operations and services. To fulfill this mission, we conduct performance audits that identify ways to strengthen public accountability, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of City government, and provide independent, reliable, accurate, and timely information to the City Council, the general public, and other stakeholders.

Our audits cover the full spectrum of City activities, including but not limited to police and fire operations, libraries, parks, housing and urban development, retirement administration, performance management, financial management, and utility services.

As a fellow, you will gain exposure to the breadth of local government work, while helping the City Auditor achieve its critically important mission. If you have a desire to make an impact in our City and see the results of your work, have a natural curiosity and strong analytical and communication skills, you are the type of candidate we are interested in having.


Fellows Should Expect:

The fellow will work with auditors and assist them by conducting specific audit tests and providing support for complex audit procedures. Performance audits vary in both size and scope and may include: determining whether a City department or program is operating in the most economical and efficient manner possible; assessing whether the program is meeting its stated goals and objectives; and testing for compliance with laws and regulations. During our audits, we generally:

  • Analyze complex operations, financial and organizational issues, evaluate alternatives and reach sound, logical, fact-based conclusions and recommendations.
  • Collect, evaluate and interpret myriad data, either in statistical or narrative form.
  • Assess risk and evaluate internal controls designed to mitigate those risks.
  • Research, understand, interpret and apply federal, state and local laws, regulations and court decisions

As a fellow, you will contribute to our office’s audit recommendations on how the City can improve its operations, save money, and deliver better services to the residents of San José.

For example, previous SIG fellows evaluated alternative staffing models for the police department, analyzed the airport’s public safety performance in the wake of staffing cuts, and assessed library hours and programs.

Desired Skills, Experience, and Coursework:

  • Demonstrated ability to work well in a team environment; professionalism and maturity for formal and informal situations
  • Clear, concise and convincing writing; ability to summarize complex ideas and data, and prepare presentations including appropriate graphic displays
  • Ability to interview City staff and industry experts to gather information
  • Comfort working in a variety of settings and with new and often complex government operations
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office
  • Previous work experience in a professional/office environment
  • Preference for rising juniors and seniors and for those with a career interest in government service

Main Fellowship Disciplines:

  • Public Policy
  • Political Science
  • Economics
  • Management, Science, and Engineering
  • And related fields


All work done in English.