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The Submission Period for the 2019 Knighton Awards will open soon!
What is the Knighton Award?
ALGA developed the Knighton Award in 1995 as a way to recognize exceptional performance audit reports, and to help audit shops continue to improve their performance audit programs. The award is named after Dr. Lennis M. Knighton, long considered the inventor of modern performance auditing. Dr. Knighton was also the first recipient of ALGA's Lifetime Achievement Award, in 2001.

How the Knighton Award Works
The Knighton Award recognizes the best performance audit reports of the preceding year. Audit shops compete against other shops of the same size. The judges will award one Exemplary Award and typically two Distinguished Awards in each size category. The shop that is recognized as producing the Exemplary report will receive the benefits of a conference registration and travel expenses to the annual conference. The number of Knighton Award categories match the current membership categories. The award categories are:

• Extra Small (1-2 auditors)
• Small (3-5 auditors)
• Medium (6-10 auditors)
• Large (11-15 auditors)
• Extra Large (16+ auditors)

Note: Shop size includes the Chief Audit Executive (e.g., City Auditor) and staffed auditor positions, but not administrative support personnel. Consultants working as full time employees should also be included in the shop size.

How to Submit for a Knighton Award
Check back soon for detailed information on the 2019 Knighton Award submission process!

For a report to be eligible to receive the Knighton Award, the following minimum eligibility requirements must be met:

  • The submitting office must be a current organizational member of ALGA.  Organizational members are local governments, school districts, boards, and authorities that conduct audits as a primary duty. Organizational members must hold current ALGA memberships for all auditors in the audit shop, including the Chief Audit Executive.
  • The submitting office must have issued the audit report during the 2019 calendar year.
  • The submitting office must expressly grant permission to publish their submitted report if it wins an award.
  • The submitting office must take “majority responsibility” for the conduct of the performance audit. This criterion is intended to ensure that ALGA's members are given equal opportunity for recognition based upon an audit shop's professional growth and achievement rather than its budget.
  • The performance audit report submitted for a Knighton Award must have been conducted in accordance with either Yellow Book or Red Book standards, and must contain a standards compliance or modified standards compliance statement.

Each audit organization can submit only one performance audit report annually.

Judges use the following four criteria to evaluate reports for the Knighton Award. Each will be equally weighted in the judging process.
  • The audit scope has the potential for significant impact, and is responsive to the needs and concerns of decision-makers and/or the public.
  • Audit conclusions that are persuasive, logical, and firmly supported by the evidence, which was gathered using appropriate research methods and tools.
  • Audit recommendations that are feasible, and will make government programs more effective and efficient.
  • Audit results that are communicated in a clear, concise way.

Note that the criteria was recently modified to eliminate "innovation" as a separate criterion, the elements were incorporated in to the other four criteria, and the maximum scores were re-distributed. To view the current criteria with recent changes highlighted, please see the Knighton Award Criteria.

Judging Process
Teams of judges, comprised of audit professionals, review the report submissions in each size category against the established criteria, and recommend performance audit reports for awards in each award category. Exemplary and Distinguished awards may be presented to the audit shops issuing the best performance audit reports.

The decision of the judges and the Awards Program Committee are final. After the judging process is completed, the Awards Committee will announce the winners in each size category.

Check back soon for the detailed timeline of the Knighton Award judging process!

Volunteer Judges Needed!
Apply to be a Knighton Judge! The Awards Program Committee is looking for audit professionals to volunteer as Knighton Award judges. Volunteer judges must be willing to contribute time between mid-January and mid-March 2020 to read and evaluate performance audit reports against the established award criteria, and to deliberate with fellow award panelists to decide the award recipients. The actual time required will vary depending on the number of audit submissions in each judge’s assigned category. Please consider volunteering to be a judge - serving as a judge is a great experience!

Volunteers are not allowed to judge within their own shop size category or within any category where there could be a conflict of interest either in fact or appearance. For example, volunteers are not allowed to judge in a category in which there is a submission from an organization to which the judge belonged during the last three years.

If you are interested in volunteering, please complete the Knighton Judge Application. You can submit the application from the website or send your application to Kathie Harrison.

Please note that if you were a 2018 judge, you do not have to submit another application; just contact Kathie Harrison.

Feedback Process
A process for providing feedback on non-winning reports was recently implemented! Check back soon for more information.

Knighton Award Winners
Each award winning audit organization will receive:
  • An award plaque presented during the ALGA Annual Conference;
  • A congratulatory letter, co-signed by the ALGA President and Awards Program Committee Chairperson, addressed to the Chief Audit Executive and an additional official requested by the award winner; and,
  • A press release announcing the award and its significance.

The Exemplary award recipient from each category is provided the opportunity to share their report with ALGA members during a concurrent session at the Annual Conference. If the audit shop agrees to present their winning audit report at the 2020ALGA Annual Conference in Greensboro, NC between May 4-5, 2020, they will receive:
  • Travel costs to the Annual Conference
    • Airfare at the 21-day advance coach fare.
    • Three (3) nights of hotel accommodations. An additional night of hotel accommodations (total number of nights of hotel accommodations not to exceed four (4) nights) may be paid if it is more cost effective for ALGA.
    • Airfare and hotel expenses not to exceed $1,000.
  • One Conference registration

Additional Resources
See the list of Past Winners.

Award-Related Articles from the LGAQ:
  • Fall 2013 - An Interview on the Experience of Winning a 2012 Knighton Award
  • Fall 2012 - What Were the Judges Thinking? A Behind the Scenes Look at the Knighton Award Rubric
  • Winter 2011 - Writing a (Knighton) Winning Report
  • Fall 2010 - Knighton Awards: Then and Now
  • Summer 2009 - Writing Effective Audit Reports