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 (the Policies). QA review sets a foundation for interaction and support from the Agencies by establishing an open means of communication between QA and the Agencies.

The QA Review provides comprehensive monitoring through:

  • Efficient oversight methods that acknowledge good practices
  • Coordinated, streamlined communication with the Agencies
  • A technical assistance network for the Agencies
  • Identification and resolution of common areas of concern
  • Assistance to the Agencies in applying procurement policies, rules, and regulations

The OSD QA Review shall include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Results from previous OSD QA Review
  • Internal control practices related to procurement
  • Categories included in a QA review are as follows:
    • 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)

QA reviewed work papers and supporting documentation reside at OSD, and the results are shared with each Agency’s Chief Fiscal Officer (CFO) and their staff.  Areas of procurement practice that need to be addressed may be identified.  Furthermore, QA may recommend decreasing delegation authority from agencies that do not comply with the Policies. Such agencies risk having their delegation rescinded, which would require extensive oversight by OSD.
 

Timetable:

QA expects to take five to eight weeks to complete a draft QA report, and it will take an additional week or two to issue the final report to each Agency.  Actual timelines for QA reviews will be determined on a case by case basis, subject to the approval by the Director of Audit and Quality Assurance. QA plans to complete reviews of all agencies in three to five year cycles.