Recent GAO report underscores the need for cybersecurity auditing

GAOlogoThe federal counterpart to the Office of the Washington State Auditor, the Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on Tuesday demonstrating the vitally important role of cybersecurity auditing in the information age. Vulnerabilities in government systems can be exploited by criminals looking to harm the public, as detailed in the GAO’s audit findings.

The Office of the Washington State Auditor helps local governments protect themselves from cybersecurity threats through a variety of means, including conducting cybersecurity audits on both the local and state levels. SAO also provides local governments with the training and resources they need to better understand the ever-changing landscape of cybersecurity. Responding to the increased demand for cybersecurity resources by Washington’s local governments, SAO has begun developing a new suite of materials specifically designed to address local government concerns. By partnering with governments across Washington and providing them with our valuable audit services, we help protect Washingtonians from potential cyber harm.

 

When it comes to cybersecurity experts, our Office boasts some of the best

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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.

How is federal money spent in Washington? Explore the 2017 SWSA summary plus data visualization

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.2018-07-03_SWSA_tableau_capture

Additional Accountability Audits Funded by Legislature

flashlightLarge state agencies will get more in-depth reviews and smaller agencies will get more frequent accountability audits thanks to a boost in funding included in the supplemental state budget approved Thursday.The Office of the Washington State Auditor requested an additional $700,000 to support accountability audit work, and the Legislature agreed. Accountability audits are a specific type of audit that evaluate whether there is reasonable assurance the state agency adhered to applicable federal or state laws, regulations and its own policies and procedures, in addition to accounting for public resources.
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Auditor McCarthy discusses her first year in Office: interview with Austin Jenkins

2017-12-08 Pat at TVW smile.jpgState Auditor Pat McCarthy sat down with TVW’s Austin Jenkins in Olympia this week to talk about her first year in Office. Since taking Office in early 2017 as the 11th State Auditor and first elected woman Auditor, McCarthy has emphasized the importance of the Office’s role in creating government transparency. “The Office is the public’s window into government,” McCarthy told Jenkins. Watch the full interview for more information on a variety of topics, including increasing accountability audits and cybersecurity efforts.

CAFR Summary

We issued our state CAFR summary report December 27, 2016.

Each year, our Office audits the state of Washington’s financial statements and reports the results in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). This is a very long, complex document that contains vital information about our state’s financial condition. The CAFR summary boils this down to about 10 pages to make it easier to read and understand. The CAFR summary can be found on our website.Professional Financial Service

Performance audit findings on boards that conduct hearings on medical mistakes

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Doctors sometimes make mistakes, and those mistakes can have life-or-death consequences for patients. Washington, like every other state, uses boards to license and regulate doctors and other healthcare providers, and can impose discipline on providers.

The Washington State Auditor’s Office recently released a performance audit that looked at two of these boards. The Medical Quality Assurance Commission (MQAC) is one of the largest, regulating 31,000 medical doctors and physician assistants. The Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery (BOMS) is one of the smallest, regulating about 1,800 osteopathic doctors and physician assistants, but was included because medical and osteopathic doctors often do the same work in the same settings. Continue reading

Performance audit highlights ways governments can reduce printing costs

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Large-scale printing

Information can be transmitted, shared and read electronically around the world almost instantaneously. However, even as information has become increasingly digital, printed materials still play an important role in business and government operations. The Washington State Auditor’s Office published an audit October 31, 2016, that focused on the state’s printing services. The audit followed up on a 2011 audit that made recommendations to reduce the state’s printing costs. While the audit focused on the state’s centralized printing services provider, Printing & Imaging (P&I) within the Department of Enterprise Services (DES), its findings and recommendations may also be helpful to many other governments as they try to minimize spending. Continue reading