Tag Archives: Washington State Auditor

Auditors find fault with Puget Sound Partnership

The first state audit of the Puget Sound Partnership has uncovered financial management problems within the agency, according to a report released yesterday (PDF 312 kb) by the Washington State Auditor’s Office. The report covers the period from July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2009.

This first audit covered personal service contracts, general disbursements, and steps to create the Foundation for Puget Sound. Future audits will look into other areas. The audit report summarized the findings:

— The Puget Sound Partnership circumvented state contracting laws, exceeded its purchasing authority and made unallowable purchases with public funds.

— The Puget Sound Partnership failed to enforce the terms of its agreements with a foundation it created, incurring costs without clear public benefit.

Frank Mendizabal, spokesman for the partnership, told Seattle Times reporter Craig Welch that the problems were largely a result of moving quickly to get the new agency up and running. The problems have since been corrected.

“Every state agency gets audited and this was a good process for us to have to go through,” Mendizabal said. “We’ve learned from it.”

In a report by John Ryan of KUOW radio, auditor Emily Johnson does not let the new agency off the hook.
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