For Immediate Release - January 09, 2014

Audit Faults MassDOT’s Long Term Use of IT Consultants

BOSTON, MA — State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump today released an audit examining the use of IT consultants by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) which identified instances where the agency did not comply with state law.

According to state guidelines, consultants hired by the state are intended to be temporary and brought into agencies for specific projects for a defined amount of time. Today’s audit found that, for a 30-month period, 40 percent of MassDOT’s 76 IT consultants had been employed for two or more years, 15 had been employed for five or more years, and one had been employed for 11 years. In addition, the auditors noted several instances of consultants supervising state employees.

The audit concludes that such practices indicate that MassDOT was substituting consultants for state employees, contrary to state finance laws.

“These findings suggest that MassDOT has been circumventing the administration’s imposed salary and staff number limits by misusing consultants,” said Auditor Bump. “The agency needs to find a lawful way to staff its IT functions.”

The audit reviewed a period between July 2010 and December 2012. Since the audit was commenced, MassDOT has begun the process of “converting” certain IT consultant activities to be performed by employees.

The Office of the State Auditor conducts technical and performance assessments of state government’s programs, departments, agencies, authorities, contracts, and vendors. With its reports, the OSA issues recommendations to improve accountability, efficiency, and transparency.