A soon-to-be-released state audit for the Fort Worden Public Development Authority will contain a finding of faulty financial record-keeping, PDA officials acknowledged during a committee meeting …
A soon-to-be-released state audit for the Fort Worden Public Development Authority will contain a finding of faulty financial record-keeping, PDA officials acknowledged during a committee meeting last week.
The new audit, prepared by the Washington State Auditor’s Office, follows the release in December of an accountability audit for the Fort Worden PDA that covered the years 2018 through 2020.
Unlike the earlier audit — which included a fraud report that found the former chief financial officer for the PDA set up false vendor accounts and billed the authority for $10,054 that was paid to her husband’s construction business — the upcoming audit is based on a financial assessment of the agency.
Becky Wagner, the PDA’s contracted accountant, told the authority’s Finance & Audit Committee at its meeting last week the financial audit would contain one “finding.” According to state officials, an audit includes a “finding” when auditors “have significant concerns about a government’s control over public resources or other issues.”
Wagner said the finding will center on how bond proceeds for the PDA’s Maker Square project were reported to the state. Makers Square centers on the renovation of the Quartermaster’s Storehouse and nearby buildings at the fort into a regional arts hub.
The PDA has been plagued by problem audits from its start.
The authority became operational in 2014, and the state’s concerns over the lack of financial controls stretches back to that year.
In every audit year, from 2014 through 2020, the state has repeatedly noted the same problems within the PDA, specifically its inability to accurately track its finances, with repeated and numerous misstatements and errors discovered in the PDA’s financial statements submitted.
The troubled audits reached a problematic pinnacle at the end of last year, when the PDA noted in its 2018 and 2019 statements that agency officials discovered “malfeasance” and pointed to former Chief Financial Officer Diane Moody as being the cause.
2 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here