SAO Gives Port of Kennewick Another Clean Audit

Nighttime image of Port of Kennewick Office Building.

SAO Gives Port of Kennewick Another Clean Audit

22 consecutive years audited with no findings

Kennewick, Wash. – The Port of Kennewick’s 2016 financial audit was conducted by CliftonLarsonAllen, an independent CPA firm; and the 2015 and 2016 accountability and compliance audits were conducted by the Washington State Auditor’s Office (SAO). The state auditor also reviewed the independent CPA’s Financial Audit Report. The SAO indicated that all audits were clean, complete and accurate; with no audit findings.

The areas examined were those representing the highest risk of fraud, loss, abuse, or noncompliance including: self-insurance–unemployment; procurement–public works and purchases; payroll wages, merit and paid time off; sale of land; and general disbursements. In all areas, the SAO determined that Port of Kennewick operations complied with applicable state laws, regulations, and its own policies, and provided adequate controls over the safeguarding of public resources.

According to Nick Kooiker, the Port’s chief financial officer, this marks 22 years where the Port of Kennewick received no audit findings (a finding would indicate material deficiencies within the organization). Stated Kooiker, “These audits are important because people don’t always trust government. These SAO audits and reviews assure the public that their tax dollars are being spent properly. In fact, the Port prides itself on transparency, and 22 years of clean audits as strong proof that our Port has both high standards, and tight internal controls to safeguard the public’s funds.”

The State Auditor’s office regularly reviews the Port of Kennewick’s financial records and procedures to ensure complete and accurate reporting; there is no misuse of public funds; and that the organization follows state, local, and federal laws, along with its own policies and procedures. In addition, the SAO will often use external contractors such as CliftonLarsonAllen, a nationally recognized public accounting firm, to ensure both timely and comprehensive financial audits. According to the SAO Report on Accountability, “Independent audits provide essential accountability and transparency for Port operations. This information is valuable to management, the governing body and public stakeholders when assessing the government’s stewardship of public resources.”

“Here at Port of Kennewick we recognize that we are stewards of the public’s trust and resources, and we strive to uphold the highest level of integrity in all of our operations,” stated Tim Arntzen, the Port’s chief executive officer. “A clean audit is key to assuring our taxpayers that we take our fiduciary duties seriously, and that we are using taxpayers’ funds to benefit the community.”

The SAO’s full report is available online at the Washington State Auditor’s Office.