RFP for Audit of Fin Statements 08-09-10
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RFP for Audit of Fin Statements 08-09-10

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WESTCHESTER COUNTY BOARD OF LEGISLATORS REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL for PROFESSIONAL AUDITING SERVICES July 30, 2008 148 Martine Avenue White Plains, New York 10601 1WESTCHESTER COUNTY BOARD OF LEGISLATORS Request for Proposal Table of Contents I. INTRODUCTION A. General Information B. Term of Engagement C. Legal Representations 1. Understandings 2. Proposal Requirements II. NATURE OF SERVICES REQUIRED A. General B. Scope of Work to be Performed C. Auditing Standards to be Followed D. Reports to be Issued E. Special Considerations F. Working Paper Retention and Access to Working Papers III. DESCRIPTION OF THE GOVERNMENT A. Contact Person B. Fund Structure C. Budgetary Basis of Accounting D. Federal and State Financial Assistance E. Pension Plans F. Component Units G. Magnitude of Finance Operations H. Computer Systems I. Availability of Prior Audit Reports & Working Papers J. Report Preparation IV. TIME REQUIREMENTS A. Proposal Calendar B. Notification and Contract Dates C. Date Audit May Commence D. Schedule for the 2008 Fiscal Year Audit E. Detailed Audit Plan F. Date ...

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WESTCHESTER COUNTY BOARD OF LEGISLATORS  REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL  for  PROFESSIONAL AUDITING SERVICES        July 30, 2008  
148 Martine Avenue White Plains, New York 10601
    
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WESTCHESTER COUNTY BOARD OF LEGISLATORS Request for Proposal Table of Contents  I. INTRODUCTION   A. General Information  B. Term of Engagement  C. Legal Representations  1. Understandings  2. Proposal Requirements  II. NATURE OF SERVICES REQUIRED   A. General  B. Scope of Work to be Performed  C. Auditing Standards to be Followed  D. Reports to be Issued  E. Special Considerations  F. Working Paper Retention and Access to Working Papers  III. DESCRIPTION OF THE GOVERNMENT   A. Contact Person  B. Fund Structure  C. Budgetary Basis of Accounting  D. Federal and State Financial Assistance  E. Pension Plans  F. Component Units  G. Magnitude of Finance Operations  H. Computer Systems  I. Availability of Prior Audit Reports & Working Papers  J. Report Preparation  IV. TIME REQUIREMENTS   A. Proposal Calendar  B. Notification and Contract Dates  C. Date Audit May Commence  D. Schedule for the 2008 Fiscal Year Audit  E. Detailed Audit Plan  F. Date Final Report is Due    
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V. ASSISTANCE TO BE PROVIDED TO THE AUDITOR & REPORT PREPARATION   A. Finance Department and Clerical Assistance  B. Electronic Data Processing (EDP) Assistance  VI. PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS   A. General Requirements  1. Inquiries 2. Submission of Proposals   B. Technical Proposal  1. General Requirements 2. Independence 3. Conflicts of Interest 4. License to Practice in New York 5. Firm Qualifications and Experience 6. Partner, Supervisory and Staff Qualifications and Experience 7. Prior Engagements with Westchester County 8. Similar Engagements with Other Governmental Entities 9. Specific Audit Approach  10. Identification of Anticipated Potential Audit Problems 11. Report Format   C. Sealed Price Proposal  1. Total All-Inclusive Maximum Price 2. Rates by Partner, Specialist, Supervisory and Staff Level  Times Hours Anticipated for Each 3. Out-of-pocket Expenses in the Total All-inclusive Maximum  Price and Reimbursement Rates 4. Rates for Additional Professional Services  VII. EVALUATION PROCEDURES   A. Audit Review Committee  B. Review of Proposals  C. Evaluation Criteria 1. Mandatory Elements 2. Technical Qualifications 3. Price     
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 D. Oral Presentations  E. Final Selection  F. Right to Reject Proposals    VIII. GENERAL UNDERSTANDINGS   A. Non-Collusion  B. Conflict of Interest  C. Contract  D. Indemnification and Insurance  E. Contents Of Proposal  F. MBE/WBE Policy  G. MacBride Principles  H. Relationships to County  I. Proposer Certification  
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WESTCHESTER COUNTY  Request For Proposal for Professional Auditing Services I. INTRODUCTION  A. General Information:   WESTCHESTER COUNTY is requesting proposals from qualified firms of certified public accountants to audit its financial statements for the fiscal year ending 12/31/08 with the County’s option to renew the contract for two (2) additional one year periods. These audits are to be performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, the standards set forth for financial audits in the U.S. General Accounting Office's (GAO) Government Auditing Standards (1994), the provisions of the Federal Single Audit Act of 1996 and U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-133, Audits of State and Local Governments.  Pursuant to §107.91 of the Laws of Westchester County, a complete independent audit of all financial dealings, transactions and records of the County shall be made annually. Under this law, the County Board of Legislators contracts with a certified public accountant or firm of certified public accountants for such audit and such auditor that is selected by the Board may also make such audits pertaining to the finances of the County as may be required by the Board. This law also requires that the audit be filed with the Board and open to public inspection.  There is no express or implied obligation for WESTCHESTER COUNTY to reimburse responding firms for any expenses incurred in preparing proposals in response to this request.  To be considered, ten (10) copies of a proposal must be received by the County no later than Friday September 26, 2008 by 4:00 p.m. and must be addressed to:    William Ryan, Chairman  Westchester County Board of Legislators  148 Martine Avenue, Room 800  White Plains, New York 10601  It is anticipated the selection of a firm will be completed by Friday October 31, 2008. Following the notification of the selected firm it is expected a contract will be executed between both parties by Wednesday December 31, 2008.  B. Term of Engagemen: t  A one (1) year contract is contemplated with the County’s option to renew annually for up to two (2) additional years thereafter; subject to the annual review and recommendation of the Audit Review Committee, the satisfactory negotiation of terms for any additional work that may be required, the concurrence of the Board of Legislators.   5
 
C. Legal Representations:   1. Understandings   Please take notice, by submission of a proposal in response to this request for proposals, proposing entity agrees to and understands:   that any proposal, attachments, additional information, etc. submitted pursuant to this Request for Proposals constitute merely a suggestion to negotiate with the County of Westchester and is not a bid under Section 103 of the New York State General Municipal Law;   a proposal, attachments, and additional information shall not entitle thesubmission of proposing entity to enter into a service agreement with the County of Westchester for the required services;   by submitting a proposal, the proposing entity agrees and understands that the County of Westchester is not obligated to respond to the proposal, nor is it legally bound in any manner whatsoever by submission of same;  that any and all counter-proposals, negotiations or any communications received by a proposing entity, its officers, employees or agents from the County, its elected officials, officers, employees or agents, shall not be binding against the County of Westchester, its elected officials, officers, employees or agents unless and until a formal written agreement for the services sought by this RFP is duly executed by both parties and approved by the Westchester County Board of Acquisition & Contract, and the Office of the Westchester County Attorney. In addition to the foregoing, by submitting a proposal, the proposing entity also understands and agrees that the County of Westchester reserves the right, and may at its sole discretion exercise, the following rights and options with respect to this Request for Proposals:  To reject any or all proposals;  To issue additional solicitations for proposals and/or amendments to this RFP; To waive any irregularities in proposals received after notification to proposers affected;   basis for negotiations of a contract, and to negotiate with oneTo select any proposal as the or more of the proposers for amendments or other modifications to their proposals;  To conduct investigations with respect to the qualifications of each proposer;  To exercise its discretion and apply its judgment with respect to any aspect of this RFP, the evaluation of proposals, and the negotiations and award of any contract; To enter into an agreement for only portions (or not to enter into an agreement for any) of  the services contemplated by the proposals with one or more of the proposers;  To select the proposal that best satisfies the interests of the County and not necessarily on the basis of price or any other single factor;
  
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and not a bid, the County reserves the right to applyWhile this is a Request For Proposals  the case law under General Municipal Law § 103 regarding bidder responsibility in determining whether a proposer is a responsible vendor for the purpose of this RFP process;   The County assumes no responsibility or liability of any kind for costs incurred in the preparation or submission of any proposal;   The County is not responsible for any internal or external delivery delays which may cause any proposal to arrive beyond the stated deadline. To be considered, proposals MUST arrive at the place specified herein and be time stamped prior to the deadline.    TheEvaluation criteria are not necessarily listed in order of importance. County reserves the right to weigh its evaluation criteria in any manner it deems appropriate.   2. Proposal Requirements   Requests for clarification of this RFP must be written and submitted to Kathy Thorsberg, CPA, Commissioner of Finance, 148 Martine Avenue, Room 720, White Plains, New York 10601 no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday August 29, 2008. Formal written responses will be distributed by the County on or before Friday September 12, 2008. COMMUNICATIONS OF ANY KIND WILL BE BINDING AGAINST THE COUNTY, EXCEPT FOR THE FORMAL WRITTEN RESPONSES TO ANY REQUEST FOR CLARIFICATION.   Proposals MUST be signed. Unsigned proposals will be rejected.   Proposers may be required to give an oral presentation to the County to clarify or elaborate on the written proposal.   No proposal will be accepted from nor any agreement awarded to any proposer that is in arrears upon any debt or in default of any obligation owed to the County. Additionally, no agreement will be awarded to any proposer that has failed to satisfactorily perform pursuant to any prior agreement with the County.  II. NATURE OF SERVICES REQUIRED  A. General    The WESTCHESTER COUNTY BOARD OF LEGISLATORS is soliciting the services of qualified firms of certified public accountants to audit the County’s financial statements for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2008, with the County’s option to renew its contract with the firm for each of the two (2) subsequent fiscal years. These audits are to be performed in accordance with the provisions contained in this request for proposals.      
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B. Scope of Work to be Performed   The WESTCHESTER COUNTY BOARD OF LEGISLATORS desires the auditor to express an opinion on the fair presentation of its general purpose financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.  The auditor is not required to audit the combining and individual fund and account group financial statements and supporting schedules. However, the auditor is to provide an "in-relation-to" report on the combining and individual fund financial statements and supporting schedules based on the auditing procedures applied during the audit of the general purpose financial statements. The auditor is not required to audit the statistical section of the report.  The audits of the financial statements of the component units are not part of this selection process; the audits of these units are under separate contracts. The component units include:  ƒ Westchester County Health Care Corporation ƒ Westchester Community College ƒ Public Utility Service Agency ƒ Industrial Development Agency  The auditor is not required to audit the schedule of federal financial assistance. However, the auditor is to provide an "in-relation-to" report on that schedule based on the auditing procedures applied during the audit of the financial statements. The auditor, from time to time, will be requested to assist in accounting and management issues. The proposer should detail experience and timeliness of responses to inquiries.  C. Auditing Standards to be Followed  To meet the requirements of this request for proposals, the audit shall be performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards as set forth by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the standards for financial audits set forth in the U.S. General Accounting Office's Government Auditing Standards (1994), the provisions of the Single Audit Act of 1996 and the provisions of U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-133, Audits of State and Local Governments.   D. Reports to be Issued   Following the completion of the audit of the fiscal year's financial statements, the auditor shall issue:  1. A report on the fair presentation of the financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.  2. A report on compliance and on internal control over financial reporting based on an audit of financial statements performed in accordance with Government Auditing Standards.   
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3. A report on compliance with requirements applicable to each major program and internal control over compliance in accordance with OMB Circular A-133. The reports on compliance shall include all instances of non-compliance irregularities and illegal acts. Auditors shall be required to make an immediate, written report of all irregularities and illegal acts of which they become aware to the following parties:  County Executive   Chairman, Board of Legislators  Commissioner of Finance  E. Special Considerations   1. The auditor must have experience in auditing general purpose financial statements of county governments and should detail the extent and duration of their experience (e.g., name of government, dates of service).  2. WESTCHESTER COUNTY may send its comprehensive annual financial report to the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada for review in its Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting program. It is anticipated that the auditor will be required to provide special assistance to WESTCHESTER COUNTY to meet the requirements of that program. The auditor must have experience in assistance and preparation of a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and experience in working with the GFOA to obtain the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting as they may be required to provide such assistance.  3. WESTCHESTER COUNTY currently anticipates it will prepare one or more official statements in connection with the sale of debt securities which will contain the general purpose financial statements and the auditor's report thereon. The auditor shall be required, if requested by the fiscal advisor and/or the underwriter, to issue a "consent and citation of expertise" as the auditor and any necessary "comfort letters".  4. WESTCHESTER COUNTY has determined that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will function as the cognizant agency in accordance with the provisions of the Single Audit Act of 1996 and U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-133, Audits of State and Local Governments.  5. The schedule of federal financial assistance and related auditor's report, as well as the reports on the internal control structure and compliance are not included in the comprehensive annual financial report, but are to be issued separately.  6. During the fiscal year, WESTCHESTER COUNTY records all revenues from all sources on a cash basis. At the end of the year, significant assistance from the auditor is expected to determine the revenue adjustments necessary to conform to generally accepted accounting principles.  
 
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 7. The auditor should be thoroughly familiar with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) statement no. 34. The County will require the assistance of the auditor to be in compliance with statement no. 34 during the term of this contract.  F. Working Paper Retention & Access to Working Papers  All working papers and reports must be retained, at the auditor's expense, for a minimum of three (3) years, unless the firm is notified in writing by WESTCHESTER COUNTY of the need to extend the retention period. The auditor will be required to make working papers available, upon request, to the following parties or their designees:   WESTCHESTER COUNTY  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services  U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO)  Parties designated by the federal or state governments or by WESTCHESTER COUNTY as part of an audit quality review process.  Auditors of entities of which WESTCHESTER COUNTY is a sub-recipient of grant funds.  In addition, the firm shall respond to the reasonable inquiries of successor auditors and allow successor auditors to review working papers relating to matters of continuing accounting significance.  III. DESCRIPTION OF THE GOVERNMENT  A. Contact Person  The auditor's principal contact with WESTCHESTER COUNTY will be KATHY THORSBERG, CPA, COMMISSIONER OF FINANCE, or her designated representative, who will coordinate the assistance to be provided by WESTCHESTER COUNTY to the auditor.   B. Fund Structure   For information regarding how to obtain a copy of Westchester County's most recently certified Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) please see attachedAppendix A on page 26of this Request For Proposal.   C. Budgetary Basis of Accounting  WESTCHESTER COUNTY Budgets for General, Sewer, Airport, Water and Refuse funds are legally adopted annually on a basis consistent with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The Capital Projects fund is budgeted on a Project basis. Annual budgets are not adopted for Internal Service and Grants funds. .    
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D. Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards (SOFA  For information regarding how to obtain a copy of Westchester County's most recently completed Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards (SOFA) please see attachedAppendix A on page 26of this Request For Proposal.   E. Pension Plans   WESTCHESTER COUNTY participates in the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System and the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System. These are cost sharing multiple public employer retirement systems. Obligations of employers and employees to contribute and benefits to employees are governed by the New York State Retirement and Social Security Law.  F. Component Units  WESTCHESTER COUNTY is defined, for financial reporting purposes, in conformity with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board's Codification of Governmental Accounting and Financial Reporting Standards, Section 2100. Using these criteria, components units are included in WESTCHESTER COUNTY'S financial statements.  G. Magnitude of Finance Operations    The Finance Department is headed by KATHY THORSBERG, CPA, COMMISSIONER OF FINANCE, and consists of Sixty (60) employees. The principal functions performed and the number of employees assigned to each are as follows:   Function Number of Employees    Administration 10 General Accounting 8 Accounts Payable 9 Treasury 4 Payroll & Benefits 10 Automated Accounting System 2 Bureau of Purchase and Supply 17
   H. Computer Systems   The County's current automated accounting system software was developed by American Management Systems (AMS) and is known as Advantage 3.4.      
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