State Auditor Pat McCarthy

A message from State Auditor Pat McCarthy: See yourself in cyber

Whether you work for a local government that provides frontline emergency services or an agency that handles sensitive information like personal or financial records, you have an important role in cybersecurity.

That is why the State Auditor's Office will be joining in the theme of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, “See yourself in cyber.” While cybersecurity can be technical and complex, much of it comes down to people and the choices they make.

Few ballots rejected, but rejection rates vary by county, gender and race, performance audit finds

Today, the Office of the Washington State Auditor released a legislatively-mandated performance audit of ballot rejection in 10 Washington State counties during the 2020 general election.

In the counties reviewed, election officials followed the law in determining whether to reject a ballot. However, the likelihood that a voter's ballot will be rejected varied greatly by county. And ballots cast by some demographic groups – including younger voters, male voters, and those belonging to certain racial and ethnic groups – have higher rejection rates than others.

Gaps in accountability led to $315,000 misappropriation by Employment Security Department employee

A former state Employment Security Department (ESD) employee misappropriated at least $315,282 in 2020, according to a fraud report released today by the Office of the Washington State Auditor. The investigation also identified $121,503 in questionable unemployment benefit payments associated with the same employee.

City of Wapato’s operations continue to struggle, recent audits show

While the city of Wapato's financial safeguards have improved somewhat since the city's last audits, the Office of the Washington State Auditor found significant weaknesses in two audits released today.

“The city had a lot of ground to make up in instituting appropriate polices and controls after our last round of audits. Nevertheless, the public expects all governments to be accountable at all times,” State Auditor Pat McCarthy said. “I am concerned by the pace of improvement in Wapato.”

A message from State Auditor Pat McCarthy: Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility

It can be tempting to think it's the experts' job to keep us safe online. We trust our colleagues who are IT professionals and the technology services we use to stay up to date on the latest threats. But all of us, whether or not we are technology experts, have a part to play in cybersecurity. That's why this year's theme for October's Cybersecurity Awareness Month is “Do your part, #BeCyberSmart.”

Washington State Auditor will require COVID-19 vaccinations for staff

Today Gov. Inslee announced most state employees will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, and he encouraged separately elected officials to adopt the same approach.

The Office of the Washington State Auditor will follow that proclamation. Everyone who works at SAO will be required to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18, with exceptions only for health and religious reasons.