Kennewick, Washington: The Benton-Franklin Health District building is a clean, modern facility, shining brightly from its location tucked behind a shopping center and other businesses. The waiting room is spacious, and the interior brims with helpful pamphlets about preventing common diseases, staying healthy and knowing when to visit your doctor. The facility is designed to put clients at ease as they wait for their appointments. Health District employees care about their clients and have designed their space around their clients’ comfort.
But what about the Health District’s internal processes? Employees, championed by District Administrator Jason Zaccaria, knew their day-to-day work could reflect the peaceful, client-centered flow of their external building. That’s why they contacted the Performance Center at the Office of the Washington State Auditor. Continue reading
Photo courtesy of the Washington Army National Guard
In early July, our Senior IT Security Specialist Sunia (Lulu) Laulile (pictured)participated in the International Collegiate Cyber Defense Invitational at Highline College in Des Moines, Washington. In this exercise, Lulu’s team attacked the systems the students were defending. You can read more about this event on the Washington Army National Guard’s blog.
Our Office has a whole team of highly capable and talented cybersecurity experts like Lulu whose job it is to ensure sensitive public data held by other Washington state governments is secure. We issue reports aimed at helping governments improve their security posture in an era of ever-increasing cyber threat. Read our most recent cybersecurity report on our website.
In 2017, our Office requested clarification of the rules electric utilities must follow to calculate retail sales growth. That effort has led the state to change how utilities are to show they qualify for one of the other ways utilities can meet the renewable energy requirement of the Energy Independence Act (Act). Continue reading
State Auditor Pat McCarthy and DSHS Secretary
State Auditor Pat McCarthy attended a reception at the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Aging and Long-term Support Administration’s (ALTSA) Complaint Resolution Unit (CRU) on Friday, July 6 to award them a State Auditor’s Office Stewardship award. Our Office is pleased to recognize the Department for its dedication to making government work better. The Department’s Complaint Resolution Unit (CRU) and field operations within the Aging and Long-Term Support Administration made significant improvements to resolve a long-standing audit finding and improve services to its clients. Continue reading
In 2017, Washington state spent more than $17.5 billion in federal money. Each year, the State of Washington Single Audit (SWSA) examines whether state agencies complied with federal requirements for those funds. As a whole, the state does meet those requirements. Today, we published our summary of the longer, more comprehensive report, together with an interactive data visualization available on our website. Please check it out, and let us know what you think in the comments.
In this photo: Board (left to right): • A.J. Walcott, President, Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 843 • Kelli Linville, Mayor of Bellingham • Eric Davidson, Blaine City Council Member • Jim Ackerman, Mayor of Nooksack • Cathy Watson, Board Chairperson and Ferndale City Council • Satpal Sidhu, Whatcom County Council Member • Michael Lilliquist, Board Vice-Chairperson and Bellingham City Council Member • Jack Louws, Whatcom County Executive Next row: WTA Finance Staff (left to right) • Laurie Pederson, Payroll Specialist • Tami Eastwood, Revenue Manager • Erin Knudson, Manager of Accounting • State Auditor Pat McCarthy • Shonda Shipman, Director of Finance • Lynda Fox, Accounting Technician II • Susan Dickinson, Accounting Technician I • Magan Waltari, Purchasing and Contracts Coordinator
The Office of the Washington State Auditor is pleased to recognize Whatcom Transportation Authority as an outstanding example of commitment to safeguarding public resources. Authority management has consistently demonstrated dedication to proactive risk evaluation and resolution, compliance with applicable requirements, transparency and an attitude that invites our Office’s guidance, especially during the audit process. Continue reading
Pictured here, left to right: School Board President Kelly Bashaw; Superintendent Dr. Greg Baker; State Auditor Pat McCarthy
State Auditor Pat McCarthy was pleased to recognize Bellingham School District on June 20, 2018 as an outstanding example of commitment to safeguarding public resources. District leadership has consistently demonstrated dedication to risk evaluation and resolution, compliance with applicable requirements and transparency, especially during the audit process. Continue reading
Recently, the Performance Center provided several resources on accounting for capital assets to help local governments with financial reporting. Another group of assets, which fall below a government’s capitalization threshold, should also be considered when establishing and evaluating asset policies and other internal controls. In Washington, we frequently refer to these as “small and attractive assets,” but they these could be described using different terminology. For example, the Government Finance Officers Association refers to them as “controlled capital-type items” in its best practice guidance. Continue reading
Counties use property tax levies to collect funds for county roads. State law
(RCW 36.33.220) allows counties to divert a portion of these funds to the current expense fund. This must be done through a Board resolution, and the funds can be used for any service to be provided in the unincorporated area of the county. However, to be eligible for Rural Arterial Program funding (see below), counties must use the diverted revenues only for purposes of traffic law enforcement and must complete a certification attesting to this fact. It is important to note that this requirement is only applicable to counties with a population greater than 8,000. Continue reading
As a part of our continuing commitment to making information about local government operations around the state more transparent and accessible, we have updated the look and feel of our Local Government Financial Reporting System, or LGFRS. Our Office has long provided unaudited financial data filed by local governments on our website via LGFRS. This same tool has a new look and is now even easier to use and understand. Continue reading