Modern Government Performance Auditing

Learn how performance auditing can produce the best results for the public

The guidebook offers:

  • Strategies to help audit leaders navigate through consequential findings
  • Refinements in audit design and practice for auditors still learning their craft
  • Concepts and methods for anyone interested in a performance auditing career.

What auditors are saying about Good, Better, Best: A Guidebook for Performance Auditing

“I would recommend this book to ANY auditor who wants to have impact. (And if they don’t want to have impact they should get a different career!)

Jerome Heer, retired Milwaukee County Auditor, former ALGA President

“I don’t know of anyone who has the breadth of experience that Gary Blackmer has in performance auditing or who is a more creative and independent thinker, consistently turning out impactful performance audits. Nothing else out there comes close to Good, Better, Best as a contribution to the performance auditing literature.

Mark Funkhouser, former Kansas City Auditor, Kansas City Mayor, Publisher of Governing Magazine; and now: President, Funkhouser & Assoc. Consulting; Chair, International Center for Performance Auditing; adjunct professor, Tulane University.

Gary brings a wealth of experience, practical tools, and humor to his helpful guide for performance auditors.  I can’t recommend it enough.

Amanda Noble, City Auditor, City of Atlanta, former ALGA president, chair ALGA Advocacy Committee

“Finally, a book in my profession that has been missing all these years. Gary’s insightful approach helps break down how to apply the auditing standards in an easily accessible way for performance auditors of all levels.”

Jenny Wong, former GAO auditor, City Auditor, City of Berkeley

Featured in the Local Government Auditing Quarterly

A guidebook based on experience in government performance auditing

A career spanning over 30 years…hired as a staff auditor, then an elected audit leader, and lastly an appointed audits director…in city, county, and state government.

Gary Blackmer was hired as a performance auditor in Portland Oregon in 1985 and his career advanced as performance auditing developed and spread to more local governments throughout the country. Mentors, peers, and challenging audit experiences all contributed to his rich knowledge and professional judgment about performance auditing. His attention to the needs of the communities he represented became the framework for producing audits that changed agency operations for the benefit of the public.

He entered the 1991 non-partisan Multnomah County auditor race, defeating the incumbent. He served eight years in that post before running for Portland City Auditor where he served for ten years. After leaving the city, the newly elected Oregon Secretary of State hired him as the audits director where he led financial, performance, and IT auditors for six years before retiring.

During his career, he trained auditors on many different subjects critical to successful auditing. He was chosen to lead professional auditing associations in the northwest and nationally. The Comptroller General of the U.S. Government Accountability Office appointed him twice to the agency’s 15-member Domestic Working Group, as a local representative and then state representative.

In 2010 he received the GAO Excellence in Performance and Accountability Award, and in 2015 the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Local Government Auditors.

He is married with two grown children and has resided more than 45 years in his southeast Portland home. His retirement has allowed him more time for flyfishing, reading, mentoring young auditors, traveling, and contributing a column to the Local Government Auditing Quarterly.

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