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Posted on: September 12, 2013

State Auditors Give Port Clean Audit on $45 Million 2012 Budget

Port officials are pleased to announce that, for the sixth year in a row, Washington State Auditors have completed their Port audit and did not issue any findings. The recent audit was of the Port’s 2012 financial documents for its $45 million budget.

Each year Washington State Auditors carefully review the Port of Bellingham’s financial records focusing on different priority areas as well as overall financial management. If auditors find a problem, they can issue a finding, management letter or exit conference discussion item. A finding is for items of highest concern.

The Port’s recently completed annual audit covered three broad areas and auditors focus on different elements within these areas each year.

On all 3 parts, the Port received no findings, no management letter items, and no exit items. The Port has had only one finding (in 2006) since 1994. The procedures that produced that finding were immediately corrected and the Port no longer has that issue.

“We are very pleased with our state audit report,” said Port Finance Director Tamara Sobjack. “All of our Port staff thinks about the audit on a daily basis. The ‘audit’ isn’t an event, it’s a daily concern.”

For the area of “Financial and Accountability,” auditors focused on cash receipting, bid compliance, change orders, and contract compliance. They also looked at the Port’s internal controls to make sure the Port has controls in place to protect the public’s assets.

In the area of “Federal Single Audit” they reviewed the Port’s federal grants focusing on recordkeeping, internal controls, reporting, and compliance with the Port’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant contracts.

The final area for the annual audit is the aviation Passenger Facility Charge(PFC) Audit in which they audit the Port’s recordkeeping, internal controls, reporting, and compliance with the FAA PFC program to make sure funds are being spent appropriately.

Copies of the Washington State Auditor’s report on the Port of Bellingham Audit can be reviewed online at www.sao.wa.gov.

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