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


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Mission Statement and What We Do

Ensuring Quality

Communicating Results

Mission Statement

Our mission at the Office of City Auditor is to help the City of Seattle achieve honest, efficient management and full accountability throughout City government. We serve the public interest by providing the City Council, the Mayor, and City department heads with accurate information, unbiased analysis, and objective recommendations on how best to use public resources in support of the well-being of the citizens of Seattle.

What the Office of City Auditor Does

Many of our reviews are made in response to specific concerns or requests from City Councilmembers. If resources are available, we will respond to specific requests from the Mayor, department heads, and citizens. We will also independently initiate reviews to fulfill our mission.

Our reviews cover the entire spectrum of City activities. For instance, reports we have issued on topics of Citywide influence include: Management of City Trees, District Councils, Span of Control, Citywide Collections, and Special Events Permitting. Reports on department-specific topics include: SMC Citation Processing, Seattle Public Utilities Delinquent Accounts, Department of Planning and Development Code Enforcement, and the Seattle Police Departmentís Handling of Bias Crimes Enforcement. Reports on general topics include: Cable Customer Bill of Rights Compliance and Indigent Public Defense Services.

Types of questions the Office of City Auditor answers:

  • Are City programs being carried out in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and is data furnished to the City Council and the mayor on these programs accurate?

  • Are programs achieving desired results?

  • Are there better ways of achieving program objectives at lower costs?

  • Do opportunities exist to eliminate inefficient use of public funds and potential waste?

  • Are funds being spent legally, and is accounting for them accurate?

  • Are there ways to improve the quality of service without increasing costs?

  • What emerging or key issues should the Mayor and City Council consider?