State audit of SWITA shows improper disbursements & rider data

News

January 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Auditor of State David A. Vaudt today (Friday) released a report on a special investigation of the Southwest Iowa Transit Agency (SWITA), based in Atlantic. The report covers the period of July 1st, 2011 through June 30th, 2012. The special investigation was requested by the Office of Public Transit within the Department of Transportation (DOT) as a result of concerns regarding compliance with reporting requirements by SWITA Transit Director Steve Andersen.

Vaudt reported the special investigation identified 8,901 charter riders which were improperly included as public riders on the quarterly charter reports submitted to DOT by SWITA, which does not comply with the Code of Federal Regulations. Because charter services were not properly reported to DOT in fiscal year 2012, SWITA could potentially receive funding in fiscal year 2014 which the agency is not entitled to if the charter riders are not adjusted.

In addition, Vaudt identified $300.00 of improper disbursements for the payment of golf registration fees for employees of the Southwest Iowa Planning Council SWIPCO. The report includes recommendations to strengthen DOT’s internal controls and
overall operations, such as reviewing quarterly reports submitted in a timely manner and conducting follow-up on any variances. In addition, the report includes recommendations to strengthen SWITA’s internal controls and overall operations, such as obtaining independent approval of quarterly reports submitted to DOT, including the driver’s name and the reason for use of the vehicle on the mileage logs and providing supporting documentation for meetings and/or training attended which are included on employee timesheets.

Copies of the report have been filed with the Iowa Department of Transportation for consultation with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration. A copy of the report is available for review in the Office of Auditor of State and on the Auditor of State’s web site at http://auditor.iowa.gov/specials/1360-6450-B0P1.pdf.