Charge: Unclear Whether Growth is Paying for Growth
The purpose of the capacity charge is to ensure that new customers pay the costs of expanding the wastewater system. The model that calculates the annual amount of the capacity charge is highly complex, not transparent, not independently verifiable, and susceptible to errors. Furthermore, ambiguous policies and unsupported methodology choices make it difficult to determine whether the model is achieving its purpose. A simpler approach to ensuring that growth pays for growth could provide greater transparency and accountability. Presented August 23, 2016.
Real Estate Services Should Act to Save Money, Improve Results and Prevent Fraud
Real Estate Services (RES) is working to improve service delivery and the oversight of real estate transactions. However, RES does not have an appropriate set of activities to protect county resources from illegal and inappropriate acts. RES also must do more to institutionalize performance management and improve the quality of information about the county’s real estate portfolio. Presented July 26, 2016.
Goal Planning: Key Elements of a Performance Management Framework
The King County Strategic Plan seeks to provide a framework consisting of goal areas to inform decision-making across King County government. This white paper summarizes core criteria that the King County Auditor’s Office will use when evaluating goal area plans. These criteria were developed based on a review of strategic planning best practices. A checklist is included on page seven of the white paper for use as a starting point to ensure criteria are addressed. June 2016.
Cost Analysis: Best Practices For Comparing Alternatives
King County agencies utilize cost analysis to guide decision-making on a wide range of programmatic and operational alternatives. This white paper communicates the criteria that the Auditor’s Office will use when evaluating the cost analysis of alternatives. The paper covers operational and technical components of analysis that can be useful to those conducting or reviewing cost analyses. An infographic is included for easy reference on some of the technical components of the paper. June 2016.
Law Enforcement Oversight Audit Wins Knighton Award for High-impact, Innovative Audit
We are proud to announce that the King County Auditor’s Office has been awarded the 2015 Exemplary Knighton Award for best performance audit by the Association of Local Government Auditors (ALGA). ALGA noted that the report, Law Enforcement Oversight: Limited Independence, Authority & Access to Information Impede Effectiveness, was especially innovative and persuasive handling of a sensitive and timely topic that has led to significant impact on civilian police oversight in King County.
Each year, local government audit organizations from around the U.S. and Canada submit their best performance audit reports for judging. The purpose of the competition is to improve government services by encouraging and increasing levels of excellence among local government auditors. Judges from peer organizations determined that this audit was the best of 2015 for offices of our size. ALGA is a national audit association founded in 1985 committed to supporting and improving local government auditing through advocacy, collaboration, education, and training, while upholding and promoting the highest standards of professional ethics.
Auditor's Office 2015-16 work program approved
The Metropolitan King County approved the Auditor's Office 2015-16 work program on December 18, 2014. The focus of our work program is on performance, accountability, and transparency.
Public Works Magazine: Not-so-Risky Business
Councilmember Jane Hague and Capital Projects Oversight Manager Tina Rogers from the King County Auditor’s Office (shown at the right) are featured in a cover-page article in July’s Public Works magazine. The article describes the risk-assessment system that tracks King County’s largest capital projects. For more information about the Auditor’s Office Capital Projects Oversight Program or the county’s risk-assessment process, contact Tina Rogers at 206-477-1036 or email email@example.com.
External quality control review of Auditor's Office
Based on the results of a peer review conducted during the week of February 24, 2014, the King County Auditor's Office's internal quality control system was suitably designed and operating effectively to provide reasonable assurance of compliance with Government Auditing Standards for performance audits during the period January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2013. Click here to read the management letter in full.
Advancing performance, accountability, and transparency
Audits and Special Studies
The King County Auditor's Office provides oversight of county government through independent audits and other studies regarding the performance and efficiency of agencies and programs, compliance with mandates, and integrity of financial management systems. The office reports the results of each audit or study to the Metropolitan King County Council.
The King County Auditor’s Office performs its work in accordance with applicable Government Auditing Standards.
Capital Projects Oversight
In 2007, the King County Council created the Capital Projects Oversight program within the King County Auditor’s office. The oversight program was established to mitigate capital project overruns and potential problems, contain costs, and inform decision-making processes through adequate, timely, and useful standardized reporting. Current projects being monitored are: Accountable Business Transformation, Brightwater Wastewater Treatment System, South Regional Maintenance Facility (Roads Services Division), Facilities Management Division Project Delivery Management, and Criteria for Capital Project Prioritization.
Countywide Performance Management
Since 2002, the council has enacted legislation seeking to improve the county's use of performance measures, including a 2003 motion that created the auditor-led Performance Measurement (now Management) Work Group with countywide representation. Based on a framework recommended by the Performance Management Work Group and efforts by this office to promote performance management in King County, the 2008 Performance and Accountability Act requires all King County agencies and departments to prepare strategic plans every five years, annual business plans, and relevant performance measures and paved the way for the development of the first countywide strategic plan, approved by the King County Council on July 26, 2010 . Advancing performance-based government is one of the ways the auditor's office promotes cost-effective and accountable county services.