State auditor gives Kent's ShoWare Center 'good and clean' report

The state Auditor
The state Auditor's Office gives the ShoWare Center's Public Facilities District a good report.
— image credit: Kent Reporter, file photo

A state audit of the city of Kent's Public Facilities District that oversees the ShoWare Center came out "good and clean."

State Auditor's Office representatives presented the draft report at a Public Facilities District special meeting Nov. 8 at City Hall.

"Our perspective is the financial statement is a good report and there are no issues with accountability," said James Griggs, audit manager for the state Auditor's Office.

This marked the first audit of the city-owned arena. Voters approved performance audits of agencies in the state with the passage of Initiative 900 in 2005.

The arena, which opened in 2009, has become a controversial topic in Kent with losses of more than $1.3 million in its first three years of operation.

"This was not a look at profit and loss," said John Hodgson, city chief administrative officer, who attended the Auditor's Office exit conference meeting with the Public Facilities District board. "It's more to see that we're following the legal rules."

Auditors looked at contracts, financial statements and made sure the district follows public meeting requirements.

"We did not identify any deficiencies in internal control over financial reporting that we consider to be material weaknesses," State Auditor Brian Sonntag said in a written report. "The results of our tests disclosed no instances of noncompliance or other matters that are required to be reported under government auditing standards."

"I'm very pleased," Hodgson said about the report. "We have a very good track record of audits with the state."

The state audits the city of Kent each year but had not looked at the arena until going over the 2011 financial statements and documents.

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