The Washington State Auditors Office issued the Accountability Audit Report for the City of Yelm on February 19, 2013.
“In most areas, the City complied with state laws and regulations and its own policies and procedures.
However, we noted certain matters that we communicated to city management. We appreciated the City’s commitment to resolving those matters.”
The Washington State Auditors Office issued the Financial Statements Audit Report for the City of Yelm on February 19, 2013.
INTERNAL CONTROL OVER FINANCIAL REPORTING
“In planning and performing our audit, we considered the Citys internal control over financial reporting as a basis for designing our auditing procedures for the purpose of expressing our opinion on the financial statements, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Citys internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we do not express an opinion on the effectiveness of the Citys internal control over financial reporting.
However, we noted certain matters that we have reported to the management of the City in a separate letter dated January 22, 2013.”
While the City of Yelm complied in MOST AREAS, they did not comply IN ALL AREAS, which was previous covered here. A city wants to be shown in-compliance in ALL AREAS, for to not get that assessment is an embarrassment, especially for the mayor, who was in the running for County Auditor. The City of Yelm had certain matters identified to them in their internal financial reporting requiring their attention to detail, as well.
The Assistant State Auditor responded to a “hotline referral” from this writer about an appearance of a conflict of interest on Mayor Harding’s part in May, 2010.
Harding was the then-Treasurer & President-elect of the Yelm Chamber of Commerce and Mayor of Yelm and “brought a proposal to the chamber board to purchase an electronic sign” to rent to advertisers and be placed on a city-owned easement at the corner of Killion Rd. & Yelm Ave.
As then-Nisqually Valley News Editor/Publisher Keven Graves said in his May 21, 2010 Op-Ed:
“As mayor, Harding has the potential to knowingly or unknowingly ‘grease the skids’ for the chamber in this process.”
“I believe the ‘perception’ of a conflict of interest can be every bit as damaging as a genuine conflict of interest.”
The State Auditor’s results of the City of Yelm audit were outlined to this writer as follows:
A. Mayor Harding should have –
– identified publicly and to the council he was on the Yelm Chamber Board of Directors when the Chamber’s sign discussion(s) occurred.
– recused himself of any and all Chamber sign discussion(s), allowing Mayor Pro-tem Isom to conduct this discussion, as council member McGowan does by example on all library issues, as he is a TRL employee.
3. “bent over backwards” to prevent any and all appearances of a conflict of interest.
This has been communicated verbally with the city by the Auditor’s office.
B. The City of Yelm did not properly follow procedures requiring a city of Yelm’s size to publicly post any contract details the city proposes over $10,000.
The State Auditor therefore sent a letter to the City of Yelm to remedy these issues in the future, which is now posted on the State Auditor’s website for the public’s information.