Head West, Turn Right

The Joint Blog of the Conservative Northwest Blogging Alliance: Red State Points of View from a Blue State Point on the Compass.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Is Brian Sonntag Qualified to do Performance Audits?

Washington State is about to join the “Performance Audit” bandwagon. In general, the concept of Performance Audits is good. But with any service provided by government, it is only as good as the leader of that government agency.

As part of the new gas tax passed in the 2005, the Washington State legislature required performance audits of large Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) projects. In addition, Initiative 900, Performance Audits of Government (I-900), will greatly expand the number and scope of performance audits in Washington State. In response to I-900, the legislature passed its own performance audit legislation. All these performance audits are required to be performed by the Washington State Auditor’s Office.

The Washington State Auditor will have to complete its first Performance Audit in the near future. And what type of experience does Brian Sonntag have to perform and supervise these audits?

Mr. Sonntag does not have a college degree.

Mt. Sonntag is not a Certified Public Accountant.

Mr. Sonntag is not allowed by law to sign an opinion on financial audits.

Mr. Sonntag does not have the minimum qualifications to apply for the entry level job of Assistant State Auditor (Bachelor's degree, which includes 10 semester hours or 15 quarter hours in accounting).

The political discussion in Washington State needs to address this issue. Could you imagine having the State Attorney General not being a lawyer? Washington State needs and should have a CPA as its State Auditor. Both the Democratic and Republican parties need to attract and promote candidates for State Auditor who are CPAs. Legislation should be considered requiring that the State Auditor be a CPA.

Washington State deserves better than Brian Sonntag.


At 8:43 PM, Anonymous Former SAO'er said...

Please keep in mind the following is coming from a former employee of SAO, and someone who votes Democratic in most elections:

You are SPOT ON in your analysis. Brian doesn't have to first clue what is going on in his own agency. He is so far removed from the employees of his agency - until a camera appears - that it has become a joke amongst employees. Local governments have hired anyone in this agency who's worth anything, and those who are left could hardly audit themselves out of a corner. This agency has averaged anywhere between 20 and 25% turnover since Brian has been elected...That should tell you something. Do a perfromance audit of SAO, and you'd find some serious waste in government.


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