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AGO 1955 No. 24 - February 16, 1955
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

CEMETERIES ‑- CEMETERY BOARD ‑- EXAMINATION OF BOOKS AND RECORDS OF CEMETERY AUTHORITY.

 An examination of the books and records of a cemetery authority may be made by the cemetery board without giving notice to the authority prior to making the examination.  The matter of giving notice is a question of policy, to be determined by the board.

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                                                                February 16, 1955

Honorable C. S. Harley
Chairman
The Cemetery Board
11111 Aurora Avenue
Seattle 33, Washington                                                                                                                Cite as:  AGO 55-57 No. 24

 Dear Sir:

             By letter as previously acknowledged you have requested this office for an opinion regarding the examination of the books and records of a cemetery authority by the cemetery board and, specifically, you have requested our opinion as to whether the board should give notice to the cemetery authority before making the audit.

             In our opinion the giving of notice rests within the discretion of the board.

                                                                      ANALYSIS

             RCW 68.05.130 (1953 Supp.) authorizes the examination of endowment care funds of the cemetery authority by the board.  It makes no provision for the giving of notice of intention to make such an audit or examination.  This section (subparagraph 4) also provides that the fees for such examination shall not be more than fifty dollars per day for each examiner and that when the examination requires more than two days such fees shall be paid by the cemetery authority.  RCW 68.05.140 (1953 Supp.) provides that if the cemetery authority refuses to pay examination expenses in advance the board shall refuse it a certificate of authority and shall revoke any existing certificate  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] of authority.

             It would thus appear that if the board desired to collect its audit fees in advance, it must of necessity give notice to the cemetery authority whose books and records are to be audited by making demand for the payment of such fees.  However, there is no requirement in the statute that notice be given and it is our opinion that it would be perfectly proper for the board to make the audit and examination without previous notice, and later bill the cemetery for any costs to which they might be entitled under the statute.

             We conclude that the matter of giving a notice is purely a question of policy, to be determined by the board.

 Very truly yours,
DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General 

ROY C. FOX
Assistant Attorney General

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