Port of Port Angeles audit finds improvements, need for more oversight of federal money

According to the report, the port didn’t properly document how much time staff specifically spent working on federally funded projects.

PORT ANGELES — The state Auditor’s Office found significant improvements in the Port of Port Angeles’ financial management, although it also issued a finding related to how the port dealt with federal funding.

The state Auditor’s Office audited the port’s financial statements from Jan. 1, 2014, through Dec. 31, 2015, and saw improvements since the previous audit, the office’s staff told port commissioners Monday.

However, the office found significant deficiencies and material weaknesses related to internal controls over major federal programs.

Auditors said Monday they were not questioning any of the costs, just that the port didn’t meet the stringent requirements of the federal government.

The port’s internal controls were inadequate to ensure compliance with federal time and effort and procurement requirements, according to the report.

During 2015, the port spent $134,283 of federal funds in its port security grant program to improve lighting and enhance security access for its marine terminals and marinas.

According to the report, the port didn’t properly document how much time staff specifically spent working on federally funded projects.

The report also says the port didn’t meet requirements for competitive procurement of a $124,820 contract for engineering services.

For that contract, the port followed the requirements under state law and selected the most qualified vendor off an approved roster.

While the process met state law, it did not meet the competitive bid process required by federal law.

The port now has a draft federal procurement policy that will be finalized so the port will meet federal requirements in the future, the port said in the report.

The port now will be required to complete a monthly time card documenting all time worked, including details on time spent on federally funded projects.

Commissioner Colleen McAleer said the results show the port’s staff has been “exceptionally professional in making sure our port is transparent in every way.

“They did it right; they just didn’t track it the way it was supposed to be done,” she said. “I know this staff is making sure the public’s money is being protected well.”

The report also looked at the port’s financial statements.

Auditors told port commissioners they saw significant improvements in those statements. Auditors found no deficiencies or weaknesses in the financial statement audit.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsula dailynews.com.

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