Friday, September 15, 2006
GRANDVIEW - The Washington State Auditor's Office released the findings of its accountability audit of the city of Grandview last Friday.
"Every year most municipalities, all counties and taxing jurisdictions are subject to an audit by the state auditor's office (SAO)," John Myers, treasurer for the city of Grandview, said. "This is a standard event. If we levy property taxes we are audited on a yearly basis."
The SAO performed audit procedures to determine whether Grandview complied with state laws and regulations and its own policies and procedures. The SAO also examined Grandview's management's accountability for public resources. The work was focused on specific areas that have potential for abuse and misuse of public resources.
Areas examined during the audit were selected using financial transactions from Jan. 1, 2005 through Dec. 31, 2005.
The opinion of the SAO was that in most areas Grandview complied with state laws and regulations and its own policies and procedures. The SAO did note two issues not important enough to include in the report.
The snag was in the accounting records. The records indicated on Nov. 30, 2005 the irrigation and street funds incurred expenditures in excess of budgeted appropriations by approximately $228,575 in the irrigation fund and $31,876 in the street fund.
State law limits expenditures for a city or town to the amount appropriated in the budget, according to the report. The budget should be amended prior to the city incurring the extra expenditures.
"That is an issue they brought to our attention and they expect us to change our practice," Myers said. "Technically, it's important."
Myers explained in the past the city had been doing a budget amendment at the end of the year.
"Kind of a house cleaning," he said.
Rather than doing a lot of budget amendments throughout the year city officials would just do the one.
"When we knew we were going to have an expenditure, we should have amended the budget right away," Myers added. "We will comply with their recommendation."
Myers said the Grandview city staff works closely with the auditors during the audit. He said sometimes the auditors bring attention to things the city isn't aware of and sometimes they bring attention to something the city should be aware of.
"Grandview has a history of clean audits," Myers said. "We work hard to arrive at that. I'm proud of the team that makes it possible."