Arlington corrects minor finding in state audit

  • Thu Oct 7th, 2010 9:49pm
  • News

By Gale Fiege Herald Writer

ARLINGTON — The people who manage public money never want the state auditor’s office to find anything wrong.

Most municipal finance personnel will say, however, that the annual audit by the state can be helpful and lead to better ways to manage the public’s money, said Jim Chase, Arlington’s finance director.

This year the city of Arlington’s audit was “clean” but for one small finding, Chase said.

The problem involved the city’s lack of a list showing how administrative costs are allocated to the various city departments.

The concern by the state is that revenues for specific uses, such as usage-based utility fees, cannot be used for the benefit of other city funds, auditors explained.

Chase was hired to run the city’s finance department as the city was closing its books for 2009. Something got lost in the personnel change, and Chase was writing the cost allocation as the state was doing its audit.

After the fact, the state acknowledged the city is doing its job, and Chase said his department plans to improve cost-allocation procedures.

“The state will check this issue again next year,” Chase said. “It’s just a housekeeping issue, but we appreciate their help.”

Gale Fiege, 425-339-3427 or gfiege@heraldnet.com.