Washington state auditor: More accountability audits needed for state agencies

Washington state auditor: More accountability audits needed for state agencies

Auditor’s office seeking $700,000 from Washington Legislature

Washington state Auditor Pat McCarthy visited the Eastside last Thursday during her “world tour” across the state.

Since she was elected in November 2016, McCarthy has made a concerted effort to connect with various editorial boards, teams, districts, commissions and more. In fact, the Office of Washington State Auditor has 14 offices outside of Olympia with 400 employees. She’s visited 11 editorial boards and at least 20 teams.

And by the end of the year, 2,400 audits will have been completed by the auditor’s office with special attention on cyber security and performance audits.

However, what’s needed is more money for accountability audits. That’s exactly what the auditor’s office hopes to take on if the Washington state Legislature approves their $700,000 ask made in early November.

Since the Great Recession, funding for accountability audits has reduced dramatically. This has resulted in more than 50 state agencies getting by without having this particular audit for four years. That’s not to say they haven’t been audited – they have had performance audits. But accountability audits hold government agencies to a higher standard.

With a “deeper than balance sheets” approach, “accountability audits send auditors into the field, interviewing clients and shining a brighter light for the taxpayers,” according to Audit Connection WA, a blog of the auditor’s office.

The $700,000 a year will pay for 8,000 hours and is being proposed for the supplemental 2017-19 biennium budget.

In the request, McCarthy points out funding for accountability audits has been reduced by more than 30 percent. In 1999-2000, state funding exceeded $8.5 million. It dipped to a low in 2011-13 with only $1.1 million but has only risen to $2.7 million in recent years.

“This decision package will restore some of those critical resources, allowing auditors to examine the books of small state agencies that the office has not audited in some time, as well as more deeply review the use of public resources at large state agencies,” McCarthy’s request states.

The funding would provide accountability audits to small agencies, such as the Traffic Safety Commission; and technical colleges, such as Renton Tech, Yakima Valley, Cascadia and Bellingham Tech, she added.

McCarthy said she wasn’t sure if the focus would shift to all of the 50-plus agencies or on to one large one, such as Medicaid, but she does know not funding the request will increase the risk of misused and fraudulent spending of taxpayer dollars.

“Regular audit cycles are critical to ensure funding is accounted for appropriately,” she wrote. “Audits shed light on potential health and safety concerns.”

For more information, visit auditconnectionwa.org.

The Washington State Legislature will meet again in January 2018.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

This October 2021 photo provided by Pfizer shows kid-size doses of its COVID-19 vaccine.
King County woman among first in state to test positive for Omicron

Omicron appears to be more transmissible than the Delta variant.

File photo
Black drivers disproportionately pulled over by WSP in King, Pierce counties

A study by WSU researchers examined over 3 million traffic stops performed by WSP officers.

Screenshot
King County weather: Dec. 3-5

Here is your King County area weather forecast for Dec. 3-5, 2021.… Continue reading

Keith Wagoner
Senator becomes first GOP candidate for secretary of state

Sen. Keith Wagoner will challenge Democrat Steve Hobbs, who was appointed to the statewide post in November

The Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center is located at 31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way S. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
FEMA to send mobile COVID-19 vaccination unit to Western Washington

The mobile site is set to open Dec. 20 in Federal Way; additional locations to come.

Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Washington health officials discuss response to new COVID variant

Things will be handled with Omicron variant similar to the Delta variant.

File photo
As new COVID-19 variant looms, vaccination disparities linger in King County

County data shows gaps among age, geography and race.

t
State champs!

Bothell High wins school’s first state volleyball title.

Garbage at the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill in Maple Valley. FILE PHOTO
King County and Port of Seattle to collaborate on waste-to-fuel study

The study is aimed at identifying logistics of developing aviation fuel out of municipal garbage.

Most Read