Commission oversight, audit response focus of first action items
The Port of Seattle Commission approved several motions today outlining how they will work together to oversee the organization’s policies and operations. After a swearing-in ceremony led by former Governor Dan Evans, newly elected commissioners Bill Bryant and Gael Tarleton joined their colleagues in establishing an aggressive plan of action for the coming months.
“I am pleased to welcome Bill and Gael as colleagues,” said John Creighton. “We are fortunate to have their expertise and experience, and I look forward to working with them in the coming months.”
“I believe this Commission will work together to provide effective, strategic leadership for the Port, including implementation of the performance audit recommendations,” he continued. “We will continue to work hard to achieve our mission of creating jobs and economic vitality for the citizens of King County.”
The Commission voted on a slate of items that together form the initial elements of their Accountability Action Plan. Action taken today includes:
- Strengthening Commission oversight. Commissioners formed a group which will research best practices for organizational governance and recommend ways to strengthen Commission oversight of major construction projects. The group’s recommendations will be used to revise Resolution 3181, the resolution that currently governs how the Commission’s authority is delegated throughout the organization.
- Establishing protocols for regular updates on major capital projects. Commissioners will receive detailed quarterly reports - written and in public session - on capital projects with costs of $10 million or more.
- Affirming their commitment to transparency and accountability. Commissioners established and signed a code of conduct, which sets expectations for transparency in its work. In addition, Commissioners directed Port CEO Tay Yoshitani to provide quarterly reports in public session regarding the Port’s response to the recent performance audit. Those reports will include updates on action items resulting from the audit and deadlines for achieving them.
Several of today’s motions concerned the recent performance audit, and Commissioners voiced a commitment to using those results to improve the Port’s performance. “Today, the Commission showed our commitment to taking strong action in response to the recent performance audit,” said Commissioner Lloyd Hara, Vice President of the Commission and a member of the Port’s audit committee. “We will continue to discuss those changes in public session so that the citizens are aware of what we are doing. And of course, we will cooperate fully with any investigation - we welcome any opportunity to improve the Port’s operations.”
Port CEO Tay Yoshitani was pleased with the quick action and leadership shown by the Commission. “We are fortunate to have Commissioners with such a breadth of experience and knowledge,” noted Yoshitani. “I am confident that the Port of Seattle is moving in a positive direction, and I am looking forward to working with the Commission on implementing several initiatives designed to improve how we operate.’