Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Avoiding Common Audit Findings

The Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC) has done an analysis of audit findings issued by the Washington State Auditor's Office between 2010 and 2012 for counties and selected special districts.

MRSC has categorized the 150 county audit findings and the 140 special district audit findings into a number of general categories, including the following that impact procurement and contracting:

Failure to ensure federal grant compliance:  
  • Not checking for federal suspension and debarment
  • Not ensuring payment of prevailing wages
  • Not requiring and obtaining weekly payroll reports from the contractor and subcontractors
Irregularities in purchasing, bidding, contracting
  • Failure to bid projects that should have been competitively bid, including significant change orders or projects outside the scope of the original contract
  • Improperly splitting a larger project into phases to eliminate requirement for sealed bids
  • Improper use of volunteer or in-house employees for project labor
  • Use of piggybacking without an interlocal agreement or without ensuring the use of a competitive bid process
  • Failure to document three vendor quotes for a small works roster project
  • Failure to perform responsible bidder checks
  • Failure to ensure prevailing wages paid
  • Failure to withhold retainage or receive bonds in lieu of retainage
  • Failure to have a signed contract in place before the start of a project
Review your procedures:  Does your agency have procedures and controls in place to ensure compliance in these areas?  Are your agency's staff trained on the requirements of bidding and contracting?
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2013 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC

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