City of Blaine will soon face state audit

Published on Mon, Aug 22, 2011 by Jeremy Schwartz

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Correction: Sam Taylor, former Bellingham Herald reporter and current city clerk for the city of Ferndale, just politely informed me that the state does these audits, not Whatcom County. My mistake. 

The City of Blaine has a released an email from the Washington State Auditor's Office notifying city officials that the state auditor is about to commence an audit of the city for the 2010 fiscal year, which will end August 31.

The audit, really a collection of three audits, is routine and done once  per year. Here are the audits the auditor will perform, briefly described:

  • An accountability audit: in which the auditor determines whether public funds are handled properly and in compliance with state law. This audit will also include a review of several city departments, including the police department and municipal court.

  • A financial statement audit: in which the auditor determines whether the city's financial statements are reasonably free from error.

  • A federal grant compliance audit: in which the auditor evaluates how the city handles the various federal grants it has applied for and received.

It all sounds terribly exciting, doesn't it? But seriously, audits such as these help sniff out possible wrong-doing in local government. After all, it was a state audit that uncovered former Birch Bay Water and Sewer District treasurer Glenn Golay's theft of $469,000 over the last seven years. He's now serving a three-year prison term.

The state auditor expects to release the audits for the city of Blaine some time in September. Cost to the city: approximately $33,400.

To read the auditor's letter to the city, click here.


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