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Achieving Honesty, Efficient Management and Full Accountability Throughout City Government Susan Cohen, City Auditor


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1998 Reports

City of Seattle Misdemeanor Warrants
01 December 1998

This review was conducted to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of the Seattle Police Department in clearing misdemeanor warrants. We concluded that the Police Department has consistently achieved a high clearance rate for misdemeanor warrants and the rate compared favorably to other jurisdictions. We recommended that the Police Department ensure that commissioned officers serve high-priority misdemeanor warrants, improve internal controls and reporting practices, and provide increased staff training in using computer technology for skip-tracing. We also recommended that the Seattle Municipal Court enhance its information system to better serve the Police Departmentís Misdemeanor Warrants Unit.

City of Seattle Financial Condition Report 1988-1997
October 1998

The Financial Condition Report presented 14 trends affecting City financial operations based on data from the previous ten fiscal years. The report was designed to illustrate the Cityís financial condition for City officials and citizens in an easy-to-understand format.

Organizational Review of Transportation Functions
03 November 1998

The Office of City Auditor retained an engineering and management consulting firm, the Nielsen-Wurster Group, to review and recommend changes to Seattle Transportationís and Seattle Public Utilitiesí processes for planning and constructing transportation capital projects. The consultant recommended changes in project management practices and training, as well as minor staffing changes.

Making the Most of GroupWise
19 August 1998

This review, conducted by a Math, Engineering and Science Achievement Program intern, focused on the Citywide Novell GroupWise messaging software and training. We concluded that the GroupWise training provided to approximately 1,300 City employees was effective, and recommended that other City employees receive training to expand their knowledge and use of GroupWise features.

Seattle Center Improves Procedures Regarding Oversight of Tenant Contracts
11 August 1998

This newsletter summarizes the implementation of an action plan that we developed with Seattle Center management as part of a 1995 audit report.

Skagit Housing: Alternatives for the Hollywood Development
19 June 1998

The City Auditor hired consultant Susan Kraght to conduct this review of costs and alternatives regarding housing maintained by Seattle City Light for employees at its hydroelectric facilities on the Skagit River.

Animal Control Improving Cash Handling Controls
24 April 1998

This newsletter summarizes the status of recommendations made by the Office of City Auditor and the State Auditor's Office in separate 1995 audit reports.

Improvements at Purchasing Services
19 March 1998

This review focused on the Purchasing Services Divisionís internal controls for purchase orders and blanket contracts. We identified inconsistencies in the Divisionís competitive bidding practices due to efforts to reduce its purchase order requisition backlog. We also concluded that the Division improved its purchasing procedures to increase timeliness; updating its contracting rules, policies, and procedures; and increasing its monitoring and controls for blanket contracts.

Sale of the Seattle City Light Building
18 January 1998

We reviewed the sale of the City Light building to determine whether the City followed state law and City policies during the sale transaction. We concluded that the City advertised and sold the building in accordance with existing laws and City policies. The City received reasonable value for the building, and we found no evidence of conflicts of interest in relation to the transaction.

Five Year Report: Audit Office Impact and Accomplishments
7 January 1998

Since our inception in 1993, we have completed 50 major audits and program reviews, generally large-scale projects lasting between 4 and 12 months and some times involving multiple departments. This Five Year Report describes the work that our office has performed to help the City manage and account for its use of public funds, and to provide citizens, the Mayor, the City Council, and City managers with accurate information, unbiased analysis, and objective recommendations on how to best use public resources.

In our work we emphasize improving management accountability systems that are critical to maintaining accurate accounts, preparing accurate records and reports, and properly safeguarding and disbursing public funds. We also recommend ways that the City can improve its efficiency and effectiveness.