share insights, absorb Idaho culture
Professionals from 43 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico gained new insight into their roles as transportation department auditors and an appreciation for Idahos natural amenities this week during a four-day conference in Boise.
The annual meeting of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Subcommittee on Audit attracted 114 participants and another 30-plus companions for a series of presentations on internal and external audits. Organized by ITDs Internal Review Office and coordinated by Bob Elliott, the conference included examples of best practices.
Among the 17 speakers was LaVonna Smith who discussed the procedures she used to conduct a thorough internal control assessment of ITDs information technology. Her task was to review the departments use of information technology a high-investment, high-risk, pervasive activity to ensure that it incorporates appropriate security and functions efficiently and effectively.
Other key speakers included:
In addition to Winder and Smith, other program participants from Idaho included Paula Williams, technical manager of information technology internal audits at Albertsons and Mark Pearson, assistant audit director for the Boise Corporation.
Representatives from transportation departments in Washington, North Carolina and Arizona joined a pair of certified public accountants in a panel discussion of external audit relations with consultants.
Conference participants enjoyed a taste of Idaho Tuesday evening at a catered Basque dinner, including entertainment by Basque dancers in downtown Boise.
Many of the audit professionals were accompanied by family members or friends, and many took advantage of their trip to Idaho to work mini-vacations into the agenda. One traveled to Riggins, some floated the Payette River, and others visited Sun Valley and Craters of the Moon.
By all measures, the conference was a tremendous success, said Carri Rosti, who leads ITDs Internal Review section.
We have one of the smallest DOT audit groups, yet some people indicated this was among the best conferences theyve attended, Rosti. They were very gracious and generous in their praise, and many sought us out to say thank you.
Most of the accolades were directed at the quality of the speakers and the content of their presentations. Some attendees will use the conference to fulfill requirements for continuing professional development.
Rosti said the conference will serve as a model for similar events in the future; she already has been asked for advice in organizing the 2005 event in South Carolina and the 2006 conference in Montana. Even some colleagues within ITD have asked for input as they begin planning their own professional conferences.
As acknowledgment of the programs success, Rosti was appointed to serve as secretary of the organization next year.
I cannot compliment my staff enough for the splendid work and exemplary commitment they made to the conference, Rosti said. It was extremely gratifying to have my colleagues compliment us on the organization, the agenda, the activities and the Basque dinner
Everything turned out so well and so successfully, I dont know what we could do differently. However, now our day jobs kick in.
Everyone was enthusiastic throughout the conference. In fact, I think enthusiasm grew during the conference, Elliott said. There was a lot of participation and a lot of good discussions. They enjoyed being here, and they felt it was a very worthwhile experience.
Actually, the embers from this years conference had not cooled before Rosti and her staff returned to their normal routine. They held a preliminary meeting on an audit request just hours after closing remarks and adjournment Wednesday.
Photo captions: Transportation department auditors from throughout the country gleaned professional lessons from at a subcommittee conference in Boise this week (top). ITD's LaVonna Smith (middle) gave a presentation on an information technology audit she conducted. Basque dancers provided entertainment during a cultural banquet in downtown Boise (bottom).