PORT ANGELES — The state Auditor’s Office audit for 2015 found that Clallam County commissioners followed policy last year when they awarded $1.3 million in Opportunity Fund infrastructure grants to the port and city of Port Angeles and also made suggestions for the veterans fund.
The Auditor’s Office held an exit conference with county officials Monday concluding there were no findings in the county’s accountability, financial statements and federal grant-compliance audits for 2015.
A citizen had raised concerns about the Opportunity Fund expenditures and veterans assistance payments, Audit Manager Carol Ehlinger wrote.
“The use of a ‘budget modification’ to transfer funds within a department without increasing appropriations was allowable,” Ehlinger wrote.
“In addition, we determined that the county was not required to have written contracts beyond those required by the Opportunity Fund project proposal process. Even so, in an effort to create transparency the county ultimately signed a memorandum of understanding with the city and port.”
The audit confirmed that Clallam County provided payments to veterans “in excess of amounts allowable under county policy, and the former veterans’ coordinator did not retain adequate documentation supporting income verifications,” Ehlinger wrote.
“In addition, we found the current veterans’ coordinator is not a county employee as required by county policy.
“We recommend the county provide assistance payments in accordance with county policy, and continue to retain documentation supporting income verifications,” Ehlinger added.
“We further recommend the county change its current practices or update its policy to ensure the fund is operated in accordance with county policy.”
Commissioners have scheduled an Oct. 18 public hearing on proposed changes to the county’s veterans assistance policy.
There were no major findings in the audit.
“No major findings,” Commissioner Bill Peach reported in Tuesday’s board meeting.
”Six years that Clallam County has had audits without a major finding.”
Peach added that the cost of the audit was projected to be $68,0o0 and the actual cost was about $58,000.
“The reason for the change is solid collaboration with county staff,” Peach said.
“It made a big difference. So kudos to the staff that were involved in that cost savings.”
An eight-page summary of the exit conference is posted on the county’s website, www.clallam.net, on the Board of County Commissioners’ home page.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsula dailynews.com.