In a blistering audit, the State Auditor’s Office has found, “The City of Seattle’s processes related to payments for goods and services are inadequate, exposing the City to the risk of making inappropriate payments…We randomly selected for audit 50 payments totaling $241,888 between July 2010 and June 2011 in 13 departments. Documentation for 48, totaling $238,617, was inadequate to show their public purpose.”
Among the specifics, “Departmental processes are inconsistent and result in incomplete and illegible documentation regarding purchasing and payment approvals…Most documentation does not show who authorized a purchase.”
Although a City the size of Seattle presents significant challenges when it comes to implementing standardized financial controls, the City’s response to the audit was not encouraging. “In 2012, the City embarked upon a Procure to Pay Process Standardization project…Included in this process will be the analysis of the existing financial system and improvements which can be made through best practices.”
Among the 30 audits released this week, Clark County and the Cities Insurance Association of Washington were also found to have significant deficiencies. Further details on all the audits can be found at http://portal.sao.wa.gov/SubscriptionServices/RecentAuditReportSubscriptions.aspx?CID=8247 .