Thursday, September 9, 2010

Auditor Developing Performance Audit Work Plan

The Washington State Auditor's Office is currently developing their work plan for performance audits of local governments during the years 2011 through 2013.

The Auditor will make their decisions of what agencies and programs to audit based on suggestions from local governments, citizens, public interest groups, and other interested parties, including the Auditor's Office.

According to a solicitation for firms to help them gather input, the Auditor will use the following criteria to prioritize audit topics:
  • Focus on the highest state priorities:  Priority is placed on proposed audits that address the state's most important and costly programs and functions across government.
  • Address areas of high risk:  Some programs and activities require more attention because of the size of their budgets, the inherent risk of their missions, or the need for substantial reform.
  • Provide actionable recommendations:  Evaluate the likelihood that decision-makers will be able to follow through on potential audit recommendations, so that results will actually improve.
  • Return on investment:  In light of local governments' ongoing budget challenges, the selection process prioritizes audits that offer the potential to reduce costs or improve services within current spending.
  • Manageable audit scope:  Priority is given to audit topics that present a scope of work that can be accomplished in a timely manner.
In November 2005, the voters of the State of Washington approved Initiative 900 that requires the State Auditor's Office to conduct performance audits of all public agencies in the state.  Initiative 900 is now included in RCW 43.09.470.

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