District public defenders are a component of the district court system in Louisiana. District public defenders are appointed by the Louisiana Public Defender Board, which was created to provide for the supervision, administration, and delivery of the statewide public defender system. The board serves as the administrator of the Louisiana Public Defender Fund, which supports the district public defender offices throughout the state.

Local governments that report to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA) are required by the audit law (Louisiana Revised Statute (R.S.) 24:514) to prepare their annual financial reports in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). GAAP for district public defenders and other local government agencies is promulgated by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).

While the use of GAAP for financial reporting ensures consistency and comparability among the reports of like government agencies, financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP may not provide the types of information that is needed by all users of a report.

Act 307 of the 2007 Legislative Session amended R.S. 24:515.1 to require LLA to develop a uniform schedule, to be included in all district public defender reports, to provide a more comprehensive picture of the costs of operating the district public defender offices. This schedule is over and above what is required by GAAP.

This schedule is required to be included in all district public defender reports, beginning with the 2007-2008 fiscal year. District public defenders who do not comply with this provision of the law are subject to civil penalties.

LLA uses the information in these schedules to prepare an annual report of district public defender revenues and expenditures for the Louisiana Legislature. This annual report is also required by R.S. 24:515.1

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