Wastewater utility district improves compliance through internal audit and business process review

Client need

A large wastewater utility district needed to evaluate the procurement, contracting and affirmative action compliance processes for legal and engineering consulting services in order to confirm compliance with internal policy and legislation and conformance to industry best practice.

Baker Tilly solution

Baker Tilly performed an internal audit on the utility district’s legal and engineering services procurement in two stages. Our specialized state and local government industry team conducted a business process review of the legal and engineering consultant procurement and contracting processes. We assessed whether the steps taken to engage professional services enabled the governmental entity to comply with relevant regulation, policies and ordinances. Baker Tilly also considered whether or not the district’s procedures conformed to industry best practice and comparable utilities.

In addition, Baker Tilly conducted sample based testing of certain legal and engineering consulting contracts to ensure the public sector organization’s affirmative action goals and substantiation requirements were met at all stages.

Results

Through outside internal audit support, the public sector organization benefited from Baker Tilly’s deep state and local government experience and knowledge of issues faced by peer organizations as well as an independent review. The utility district received recommendations to improve its compliance with policies and regulation, internal control and process efficiency related to its legal and engineering consulting procurement processes and affirmative action goals and substantiation requirements.

The organization also received recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its contracting processes by enhancing the role of the procurement function in the qualifications based selection process as well as developing an improved process to gather qualifications as a means of promoting competition and transparency. 

For more information on this topic, or to learn how Baker Tilly energy and utility specialists can help, contact our team.