RIALTO, CA – In an effort to continue the improvement of financial responsibility and accountability standards at the West Valley Water District (WVWD) Board President Channing Hawkins announced a series of immediate actions effective immediately.
WVWD Board President Channing Hawkins stated, “We have made great strides but there is a lot more work for us to do. After consulting with staff and reviewing initial audit findings, the time has come to take immediate steps to address every issue.”
Board President Channing Hawkins also directed the following:
the purchasing department and all purchasing functions will report to the CFO.
board members to attach a meeting agenda to each reimbursement or stipend form for every meeting for which they request reimbursement.
board members and employees to complete expense reimbursement forms with receipts attached for all travel, conference, meals (etc.) expenses and submit them to the WVWD chief financial officer (CFO) for reimbursement.
all employees to include receipts attached to an expense reimbursement forms from all incurred expenses (including credit card purchases) incurred to accounting on a monthly basis.
board members to complete a mandatory ethics training by the end of March.
the Water District to contract with an independent firm to create an accounting manual, which will include new fiscal policies and procedures.
The direction from the Board President comes after a meeting between the Water District and the State Controller’s Office. During the meeting, the State Controller’s Office informed the Board President of initial findings from the ongoing audit, which is yet to be provided to the Water District. The audit conducted by the State Controller’s Office reviews the Water District from 2014 to 2019. A majority of the current Board of Directors were not serving in their current capacity for the timeframe currently being reviewed.
Directives from the Board President are in compliance with best practices compiled by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), which is a professional association of approximately 19,000 state, provincial and local government finance officers in the United States and Canada. The GFOA identifies best practices, policies and procedures that contribute to improved government management and ensure government agencies are financially responsible with funds collected for services.
The direction by President Hawkins for all members of the Board of Directors to complete ethics training by the end of March is in accordance with State of California mandate. This mandate, AB 1234 (Chapter 700, Stats. of 2005), requires special districts in California to provide ethics training to elected officials on a biennial basis. This training is enforced and managed by the Attorney General and Fair Political Practices Commission.