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Auditing Services for 3 Years

Public Utility District #1 of Jefferson County is accepting qualifications from qualified firms of Certified Public Accountants to provide audit services for our organization for the next three (3) years, beginning with the calendar year ending December 31, 2022. We invite your firm to submit qualifications to us by July 18, 2022, for consideration. A description of our organization, the services needed, and other pertinent information follows:

Background of Public Utility District #1 of Jefferson County

Public Utility District #1 of Jefferson County (the District) is a municipal corporation of the State of Washington as authorized under RCW 54. It is governed by an elected three-commissioner board. Annual revenues are approximately $40 million per year and the organization employs 53 people in three locations. The District has over 20,000 electric customers, 5,000 water customers, and 350 sewer customers in Jefferson County in the state of Washington. The District is expanding as a Broadband Utility having been awarded approximately $25 million in various local, state and federal grants. The organization has a December 31st fiscal year end, is a Rural Utilities Service (RUS) borrower, and required to file audited financial statements by March 31st of the following year.

The accounting policies of the District conform to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) as applicable to proprietary funds of governmental utilities. The District has applied all applicable Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) pronouncements. Accounting records are maintained in accordance with methods prescribed by the State Auditor under the authority of Revised Code of Washington, Chapter 43.09: the Uniform System of Accounts prescribed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the Electric System, and the Uniform System of Accounts for Class A and B Water Utilities prescribed by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) for the Water System. Accounting for Broadband is maintained under the Uniform System of Accounts prescribed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Services to be Performed

Your proposal is expected to cover the following services:

1. The audit shall be in compliance with applicable standards of auditing (Generally Accepted Auditing Standards, or GAAS) as set forth by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the standards for financial audits contained in Generally Accepted Governmental Auditing Standards (GAGAS) issued by the Comptroller General of the United States, and the requirements of 7 CFR Part 1773, Policy on Audits of Rural Utilities Services (RUS) Borrowers (Part 1773).

2. Presentation of completed audit to Board of Commissioners.

3. Provide State Auditor’s Office unrestricted access to review audit documentation including administration and planning files, except for those documents determined to be attorney-client privileged.

4. Preparation of Single Audit Report as required by OMB Circular A-133 for Federal Awards, when applicable.

Other considerations:

1. The firm shall keep District officials adequately informed throughout the year of any new requirements and/or changes in financial reporting disclosures.

2. The District shall keep the firm adequately informed throughout the year of any new requirements and/or changes in financial reporting disclosures.

Key Contacts

Following are key contacts for information you may seek in preparing your proposal:

Mike Bailey Finance Director 360-385-8367 mbailey@jeffpud.org
Kevin Streett General Manager 360-385-8360 kstreett@jeffpud.org

Requests for additional information, review of prior financial statements, and/or personal appointments should be coordinated through one of the above individuals. Requests for additional information may be subject to signing of a nondisclosure agreement.

Relationship with Prior CPA Service Provider

These services have been provided by Jackson Thornton, 730 Cool Springs Blvd, Suite 100, Franklin, TN, 37067. In preparing your proposal, be advised the District Management will give permission to contact the prior auditors.

Your Response to this Request for Qualifications

In responding to this request, we request the following information:

1. Detail your firm’s experience in providing auditing services to companies in the public government sector, as well as, associations of a comparable size to the District, including those within the rural electric cooperative industry.

2. Provide information on whether you provide services to any related industry associations or groups, and detail your experience working with RUS borrowers, as well as working with public utilities providing similar services..

3. Discuss the firm’s independence with respect to the District.

4. Discuss commitments you will make to staff continuity, including your staff turnover experience in the last three years.

5. Identify the five largest clients your firm (or office) has lost in the past three years and the reasons. Also discuss, in instances where loss of the client was due to an unresolved auditing or accounting matter, the process of attempting to resolve the issue(s).

6. Identify the partner, manager, and in-charge accountant who will be assigned to our engagement if you are successful in your bid and provide biographies. Indicate any complaints against them that have been leveled by the state board of accountancy or other regulatory authority, if any. Indicate any corrective actions that have been taken by the firm with respect to these people.

7. Describe how your firm will approach the audit of the District, including the use of any association or affiliate member firm personnel and the areas that will receive primary emphasis. Also discuss the firm’s use of technology in the audit. Include timelines to complete important tasks. And finally, discuss the communication process used by the firm to discuss issues with the management and Board of Commissioners.

8. Briefly comment on your firm’s practice and policy regarding client service. Comment on what a client can expect regarding firm literature, training resources, and accounting and business advice and counsel throughout the year. Indicate whether these services would be part of your standard fees for audit services or whether additional fees would be billed separately for these items.

9. The Washington State Auditor’s division performs an annual compliance review of District operations, including a review of the District’s financial statements. Please provide your firm’s policy regarding access to audit work papers along with your plan and recommendation to coordinate the external audit and examination by the Washington State Auditor’s division.

10. Set forth your fee proposal for the 2022, 2023, and 2024 audits.

11. Furnish standard billing rates for classes of professional personnel for each of the last three years.

12. Provide the names and contact information for other, similarly sized clients of the partner and manager that will be assigned to our organization for reference purposes.

13. Describe how and why your firm is different from other firms being considered, and why our selection of your firm as our independent auditor is the best decision we could make.

14. Include a copy of your firm’s most recent peer review report, the related letter of comments, and the firm’s response to the letter of comments.

Evaluation of Proposals

Jefferson County Public Utility District #1 will evaluate proposals on a qualitative basis as follows:

I. GENERAL QUALIFICATIONS – 15%
A. Management Plan
B. Capabilities of Firm
C. Response Time
D. Cost Control Experience
E. Accessibility to Audit Personnel and Support Services

II. TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE – 50%
A. Client List and Client References
B. Equivalent Projects and Services
C. Key Personnel Qualifications and Relevant Experience
D. Accessibility to Audit Personnel
E. Support Services Organization and Capabilities

III. RATES (All respondents shall include with its proposal a comprehensive rate schedule that includes all discipline titles and corresponding hourly rates that would be used for this engagement) – 30%

IV. ACCESSIBILITY TO DISTRICT (Availability to get to District as needed during the process) – 5%

The District reserves the right to reject any or all proposals.

Proposal Selection Timetable

The following timetable will be followed by the District’s management and Board of Commissioners to select a firm to act as the District’s independent auditor:

A. June 15, 2022 – Request for qualifications mailed to selected certified public accountants, CPA partnerships, CPA professional corporations, and posted on industry websites.

B. June 15 to July 15, 2022 – Kevin Streett, General Manager, and Mike Bailey, Finance Director, are available to answer questions relating to the request for qualifications and financial operations of the District. See “Key Contacts” for their contact information.

C. July 18, 2022 – Proposals will be accepted until 5:00 PM Pacific Time at: Jefferson County Public Utility District #1, 310 Four Corners Rd, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Proposals must be sealed and marked: Audit of Financial Statements & Records.

D. July 19 – 29, 2022 – Management to review proposals and conduct interviews with responsible representatives of selected firms submitting proposals. Management will be the sole judge of those firms selected for interviews.

E. August 2, 2022 – District Management recommends firm to be considered as auditor for the Fiscal Years 2022, 2023, and 2024 to the Board of Commissioners for approval. The Board by approve or reject the selection or defer action thereon.

F. September 9, 2022 – Contract with successful firm to be completed and signed by both parties for performance of the audit.

G. October 31, 2022 – Completion of fieldwork planning and provide required information to District.

We would also appreciate a response if you decline to submit a proposal.

Sincerely,

Public Utility District No. 1 of Jefferson County

Kevin Streett
General Manager