Audit Operations manages the majority of the work the State Auditor's Office is mandated to perform under state law. A diverse team of professionals--auditors, lawyers, technology specialists and government analysts--is tasked with reviewing how Massachusetts state government utilizes taxpayer funding and protects public money from fraud, waste and abuse. Audit staff conduct performance and compliance audits and technical assessments of state programs, departments, agencies, authorities and vendors in accordance with "Government Auditing Standards" issued by the Comptroller General of the United States. Although audits are performed with different objectives, in all cases, auditors conduct their work with the goal of making government work better. Specifically, audits focus on:
- Determining whether the Commonwealth's resources are properly safeguarded;
- Determining whether these resources are properly and prudently used;
- Evaluating internal controls to help ensure integrity in financial management systems;
- Determining whether computer systems and the corresponding IT environment are secure, maintain integrity and are consistently available;
- Determining and evaluating a program's results, benefits, or accomplishments; and
- Ensuring that audit results are fully disclosed to the public and the auditees.
While the State Auditor's Office may uncover a variety of issues and problems, our audits and reports contain important recommendations that state government can use to improve accounting, internal controls, security and outcomes. In many cases, audits highlight good practices which can then be shared among other programs. Auditor Bump believes increased oversight and use of the Office’s resources only serves to make state government more efficient, accountable and transparent for the citizens of the Commonwealth.
Another important function of the Division is to serve as a resource for cities and towns. Communities, by vote of the governing body, can request an audit of any local municipal program, contract or vendor.
Auditors of the Division of Audit Operations work independently and with federal and state law enforcement officials such as the United States Attorney, the Massachusetts Attorney General and ten regional district attorneys to uncover fraud and other violations of federal and state law. Over the past 20 years, the Division has identified billions of dollars in unnecessary and unallowable costs and those recommendations have helped the Commonwealth recover hundreds of millions of dollars.
Each year, OSA auditors also partner with a private accounting firm to perform the "Single Audit of the Commonwealth", a federally mandated comprehensive audit that encompasses accounts and activities of state agencies.