Performance audits — Collaboration with joint legislative audit and review committee — Criteria — Statewide performance review — Contracting out — Release of audit reports.
(1) The board and the state auditor shall collaborate with the joint legislative audit and review committee regarding performance audits of state government.
(a) The board shall establish criteria for performance audits consistent with the criteria and standards followed by the joint legislative audit and review committee. This criteria shall include, at a minimum, the auditing standards of the United States government accountability office, as well as legislative mandates and performance objectives established by state agencies and the legislature. Mandates include, but are not limited to, agency strategies, timelines, program objectives, and mission and goals as required in RCW 43.88.090.
(b) Using the criteria developed in (a) of this subsection, the state auditor shall contract for a statewide performance review to be completed as expeditiously as possible as a preliminary to a draft work plan for conducting performance audits. The board and the state auditor shall develop a schedule and common methodology for conducting these reviews. The purpose of these performance reviews is to identify those agencies, programs, functions, or activities most likely to benefit from performance audits and to identify likely areas warranting early review, taking into account prior performance audits, if any, and prior fiscal audits.
(c) The board and the state auditor shall develop the draft work plan for performance audits based on input from citizens, state employees, including front-line employees, state managers, chairs and ranking members of appropriate legislative committees, the joint legislative audit and review committee, public officials, and others. The draft work plan may include a list of agencies, programs, or systems to be audited on a timeline decided by the board and the state auditor based on a number of factors including risk, importance, and citizen concerns. When putting together the draft work plan, there should be consideration of all audits and reports already required. On average, audits shall be designed to be completed as expeditiously as possible.
(d) Before adopting the final work plan, the board shall consult with the legislative auditor and other appropriate oversight and audit entities to coordinate work plans and avoid duplication of effort in their planned performance audits of state government agencies. The board shall defer to the joint legislative audit and review committee work plan if a similar audit is included on both work plans for auditing.
(e) The state auditor shall contract out for performance audits. In conducting the audits, agency front-line employees and internal auditors should be involved.
(f) All audits must include consideration of reports prepared by other government oversight entities.
(g) The audits may include:
(i) Identification of programs and services that can be eliminated, reduced, consolidated, or enhanced;
(ii) Identification of funding sources to the state agency, to programs, and to services that can be eliminated, reduced, consolidated, or enhanced;
(iii) Analysis of gaps and overlaps in programs and services and recommendations for improving, dropping, blending, or separating functions to correct gaps or overlaps;
(iv) Analysis and recommendations for pooling information technology systems used within the state agency, and evaluation of information processing and telecommunications policy, organization, and management;
(v) Analysis of the roles and functions of the state agency, its programs, and its services and their compliance with statutory authority and recommendations for eliminating or changing those roles and functions and ensuring compliance with statutory authority;
(vi) Recommendations for eliminating or changing statutes, rules, and policy directives as may be necessary to ensure that the agency carry out reasonably and properly those functions vested in the agency by statute;
(vii) Verification of the reliability and validity of agency performance data, self-assessments, and performance measurement systems as required under RCW 43.88.090;
(viii) Identification of potential cost savings in the state agency, its programs, and its services;
(ix) Identification and recognition of best practices;
(x) Evaluation of planning, budgeting, and program evaluation policies and practices;
(xi) Evaluation of personnel systems operation and management;
(xii) Evaluation of state purchasing operations and management policies and practices; and
(xiii) Evaluation of organizational structure and staffing levels, particularly in terms of the ratio of managers and supervisors to nonmanagement personnel.
(h) The state auditor must solicit comments on preliminary performance audit reports from the audited state agency, the office of the governor, the office of financial management, the board, the chairs and ranking members of appropriate legislative committees, and the joint legislative audit and review committee for comment. Comments must be received within thirty days after receipt of the preliminary performance audit report unless a different time period is approved by the state auditor. All comments shall be incorporated into the final performance audit report. The final performance audit report shall include the objectives, scope, and methodology; the audit results, including findings and recommendations; conclusions; and identification of best practices.
(i) The board and the state auditor shall jointly release final performance audit reports to the governor, the citizens of Washington, the joint legislative audit and review committee, and the appropriate standing legislative committees. Final performance audit reports shall be posted on the internet.
(j) For institutions of higher education, performance audits shall not duplicate, and where applicable, shall make maximum use of existing audit records, accreditation reviews, and performance measures required by the office of financial management and nationally or regionally recognized accreditation organizations including accreditation of hospitals licensed under chapter 70.41 RCW and ambulatory care facilities.
(2) The citizen board created under *RCW 44.75.030 shall be responsible for performance audits for transportation related agencies as defined under *RCW 44.75.020.
[2012 c 229 § 817; 2005 c 385 § 5.]
| *Reviser's note: RCW 44.75.020 and 44.75.030 were repealed by 2006 c 334 § 51, effective July 1, 2006.|
Effective date -- 2012 c 229 §§ 101, 117, 401, 402, 501 through 594, 601 through 609, 701 through 708, 801 through 821, 902, and 904: See note following RCW 28B.77.005.
Findings -- 2005 c 385: See note following RCW 43.09.430.