Post-Audit Accountability Initiative Finds State Saving $12.8 Million Due to Audit Recommendations
BOSTON, MA - In the first year of her administration, State Auditor Suzanne Bump launched a new accountability initiative to monitor how audited agencies are acting on her recommendations. Today Auditor Bump released the first report from this new audit follow-up procedure which shows select audit work produced up to $12.8 million in fiscal benefit for the Commonwealth.
“The follow-up reviews will let auditees know that audits will not be allowed to just sit on a shelf,” said Auditor Bump. “There is public interest to see these agencies and vendors take action and fix the problems uncovered in our audits.”
Post-audit review surveys will be issued six months after the release of an audit with findings of financial or operation deficiencies. Today’s report gives a progress update on 21 audits, including 12 audits released between March 18, 2011 to May 31, 2011 and nine audits with significant findings released by the prior administration.
According to survey results, 95% of the 96 recommendations made in these 21 audits are being implemented, with 61 completions and 30 in progress. Action in response to audit recommendations will save the Commonwealth up to $12.8 million, with approximately $4.7 million of that amount representing annualized savings.
Actions reported in response to audit recommendations include:
- The Office of Medicaid (MassHealth) is seeking over $3.8 million in reimbursement from dental providers, largely for the improper billing of X-rays.
- MassHealth updated its regulations and billing system to prevent dental providers from abusing the system and to increase efficiency that will result in more than $13 million in savings over the next three years, based on prior patterns of spending.
- The Education Cooperative (TEC) reduced its unallowable surplus by over $1.2 million by cutting member district assessments by half and freezing tuitions for two years. Also, all TEC staff are now fully licensed.
- According to the Parole Board, paroled sex offenders are undergoing polygraph exams every six months as required, and drug testing is also conducted within the prescribed time frame. The Board has prioritized the collection of parole fees, directing over $600,000 to the General Fund over the past three years. It has increased efforts to enforce parolee compliance with child support obligations.
- The Department of Public Health secured nearly $3 million in federal grants to improve the local delivery of food inspection services and instituted a computer system to share information between the state and its municipalities. The department also has increased food inspections of schools, is continuing to work on instituting a statewide risk-based approach to inspections, and is planning to update its regulations in the near future.
- Framingham State University updated some of its financial aid policies to ensure that students receiving aid through a federal stimulus fund grant demonstrate the required financial need.
Two post-audit reviews highlighted potential issues. The Mattapoisett Housing Authority was largely unresponsive. The Massachusetts Maritime Academy reported that it is unable to obtain information from the Ethics Commission on a personnel issue that the Academy brought to the Commission’s attention.
Post-audit reviews are self-reported information that is unaudited. The Office of The State Auditor makes no claims as to the accuracy of the information.
Special Report: Post-Audit Review Surveys Second Quarter Report - FY2012