Issaquah schools pass state audit for eighth straight year

May 25, 2010

By Chantelle Lusebrink

For the eighth year in a row, Issaquah School District officials received recognition from the Washington State Auditor’s Office for completely adhering to state and federal regulations.

“I am extremely proud of Issaquah School District employees,” Superintendent Steve Rasmussen wrote in an e-mail. “Eight straight years of clean audits is proof of what I experience every day — my colleagues understand that while our paramount duty is to educate students, we must act as good, accountable public stewards in all of our business. When you have good people doing the right things, an audit is a welcome event.”

The Auditor’s Office released its findings May 17. The audit looked at district financial records from Sept. 1, 2008, to Aug. 31, 2009.

The audits are a routine inspection conducted by the Auditor’s Office every year for every public entity.

“The state audit provides an independent review of the district’s finances and operations,” Chief Executive of Finance and Operations Jacob Kuper wrote in an e-mail. “The audit provides a level of accountability that is essential for local and state government.”

The audit measures general accountability and looks at the district’s protection and safeguarding of public resources.

The federal/financial statement audit measures the district’s financial statements and compliance with government’s standards, Kuper wrote. The federal component is used for any entity that receives more than $500,000 in federal funds.

It included looking into the district’s expenditures on cash receipting and revenues, payroll expenditures, and assessment of fines and damages. It also looked at the district’s expenditures and protection of assets, like laptops and other classroom materials.

If there is an issue, the government may ask the district to return its funds.

The accountability audit looked into compliance with state and local regulations, such as conflict of interest laws, the Open Public Meetings Act, competitive bidding compliance, contracts and student enrollment, and transportation reporting.

The Auditor’s Office did not note any negative findings in the district’s general accountability audit.

The district has not received any negative findings from the state Auditor’s Office since 2001, according to auditor officials.

“The district has a culture of accountability and our employees at all levels take pride in conducting business in an accountable manner,” Kuper wrote.

District officials did receive a management letter in 2006 for the 2006-07 school year, directing them to alter their reporting of certain district transportation routes. Those problems were corrected while auditors were still in the building.

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