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Council Expands Auditor Function

Councilmember Lewis’ Resolution will create ‘better outcomes, save money’

Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis (District 7 – Pioneer Square to Magnolia) expressed enthusiasm following today’s unanimous Full Council vote in support of his legislation, Resolution 31941, regarding enhancing the role of the Auditor’s office to create a more efficient and efficacious city government. 

Lewis’ Resolution creates a nine-member working group that will produce a set of recommendations for the Council to consider. The group is expected to report back on July 31st of this year, and will include academics, former professional auditors, and labor leaders. Those recommendations will be delivered to members of the City Council as a basis for subsequent legislation and a fiscal requests to the Mayor’s budget.

“From the earliest days of my campaign I promised to evaluate and prioritize the office of our City Auditor,” said Lewis.  “I believe that by expanding the Auditor’s function, we will create better outcomes, save money and increase accountability at the municipal level.”

Robust increases in auditing could help Seattle save millions of dollars year over year, and would ensure the efficacy of existing and future programs by taking steps to bolster the Office of the Auditor similar to the King County model, which has saved an estimated $125 million over the past 3 years. Lewis was inspired by the work at King County, calling for action in Seattle in a 2018 Op-Ed.

“My resolution is intended to build on a culture of constant improvement so that we know the programs doing great work can go even further,” Lewis added.  Previously, an audit requested by a former Councilmember identified upwards of $10 million for affordable housing.  I think we’d all like to see more of that.”

The Office of City Auditor was established in 1991, and is led by City Auditor David G. Jones.  Together, with his colleagues the Auditor serves to “…conduct independent, in-depth analyses and develop recommendations to improve City programs and services.”

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About Andrew:  Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis is a fifth generation Washingtonian and was born and raised in Seattle. He most recently worked as an assistant city attorney in the Seattle City Attorney’s Office.  Andrew is the son of a heavy equipment operator for Seattle City Light and a nurse at Harborview.  He graduated with a B.A. in History and Political Science from the University of Washington, and holds a Masters degree from the London School of Economics and a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.  Frequent updates about the Councilmember’s efforts are available on Facebook and Twitter.

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