SACRAMENTO – The Joint Legislative Audit Committee today unanimously approved a request by Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) and Assemblyman Bill Brough (R-Dana Point) to have the nonpartisan State Auditor’s office audit the South Orange County Wastewater Authority (SOCWA).
Bates and Brough requested the audit after local officials raised concerns about the integrity of SOCWA’s financial management of public funds. They issued the joint statement:
“We thank the Joint Legislative Audit Committee for its bipartisan support of our request to ensure that Orange County taxpayer dollars are spent properly. An independent audit will help explain inconsistencies in SOCWA’s financial records and provide greater transparency to the public. We look forward to reviewing the audit when completed and working with SOCWA and stakeholders to address any issues that may be identified.”
SOCWA is a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) consisting of 10 Orange County water agencies that represent over 500,000 businesses and residents. SOCWA is funded by each participating water agency who allocates taxpayer dollars to provide wastewater services to South Orange County. JPA’s are funded by taxpayer dollars and must be legally audited and accounted for on a regular basis.
There are concerns from the Orange County Auditor-Controller and SOCWA member agencies regarding financial inconsistencies, record requests, and the use of taxpayer dollars. This independent audit will provide clarity for all parties involved.
Frequently asked questions concerning the audit process can be found here.
Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) represents the 36th Senate District in the California Legislature, which covers South Orange County, North San Diego County and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Assemblyman William P. Brough represents California’s 73rd Assembly District in the Legislature, which includes the communities of Aliso Viejo, Coto de Caza, Dana Point, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Las Flores, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano. Follow him on Facebook.