1. What is the reason for a Quality Assurance (QA) review?

AQA conducts Quality Assurance (QA) reviews to assist 66 level III Executive Agencies (the Agencies) in achieving and maintaining compliance under procurement regulation 801 CMR 21.00, Operational Services Division (OSD) Procurement Polices, and COMMBUYS Policy for Purchasing Organizations. QA review sets a foundation for interaction and support from the Agencies by establishing an open means of communication between QA and the Agencies.

  1. What categories are looked at during a QA review?

The following categories are reviewed:

  • Transactions Testing
    • MMARS encumbrance transactions testing
    • COMMBUYS purchase order transactions testing
  • Procurement Exceptions
    • Legislative exemption
    • Emergency contracts
    • Collective purchases
    • Interim contracts
    • Incidental purchases (up to $10,000)
    • Contract employees
  • Statewide Contracts Utilization
  • Procurement File Management
    • Electronic responses requirement
    • Minimum quote requirement
    • Statewide contracts
    • Non-statewide/departmental contracts
      • SDP (large procurement)
      • SBPP (small procurement)
  1. What determines if an onsite QA review is needed?

An onsite QA review is determined on a case by case basis, subject to the approval of the Director of Audit and Quality Assurance.

  1. How is it determined which agency will be reviewed?

At the beginning of each fiscal year, OSD QA will identify agencies to be reviewed, based on several factors such as:

  • Special requests or non-compliance issues brought to the attention of OSD
  • Time since last QA review
  • New agencies
  1. Can Agencies make special requests for reviews?

Reviews outside of the established schedule are possible if a request is made.

  1. How are Agencies made aware they are receiving a QA Review?

An Agency’s Chief Fiscal Officer will be contacted by a QA Auditor with an introductory email and a Planning Questionnaire.

  1. Where is the data for reviews pulled from?

Information and data used during a QA review comes from COMMBUYS and the Massachusetts Management Accounting and Reporting System (MMARS).

  1. If our Agency’s funds are primarily budgeted for goods and services that are not available on Statewide Contract, will we be penalized?

Each review is conducted on a case by case basis. When reviewing transactions, the QA Auditor will consider the goods procured and determine whether or not they are available on Statewide Contracts.