Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Port of Seattle enacts Reforms

The U.S. Attorney for Western Washington has begun a criminal investigation of the Port of Seattle as a result of Washington State Auditor Brian Sonntag’s performance audit and the findings that the Port is vulnerable to fraud, waste and abuse. The audit revealed the doctoring of documents and the intentional concealment of facts from the commission.

Tay Yoshitani, Chief Executive of the Port admitted that sometimes “shortcuts were taken and records were not kept up to date.” Yoshitani blamed a global rise in material costs for cost overruns and said it was not good public policy to call the difference between estimates and bids “waste” because it would encourage agencies to inflate bids to avoid the poor comparison – something the audit already accused the Port of doing.

The Legislature is holding a 1 pm public hearing on Wednesday regarding the port’s performance audit in Senate Hearing Room 4 of the John L Cherberg Building in Olympia.

State Auditor Brian Sonntag recommended that the Legislature clarify the laws governing to the competition required in procurements that result in the expenditure of public funds.

Photo is courtesy of Port of Seattle

For detailed information regarding the newly adopted reforms, please visit:

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