Audit of Red Tide Grant Reveals Funds Properly Administered
August 30, 2012
State Auditor Suzanne Bump today announced an audit of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries’ (DMF) administration of a $2 million federal disaster relief grant intended to aid shell fishermen affected by the 2008 red tide outbreak. The outbreak closed shellfish beds in 29 communities, resulting in substantial economic losses for individuals from 41 municipalities throughout the Commonwealth.
The audit found that DMF had properly accounted for all revenues and expenses under the grant, which was issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration following a request by Governor Deval Patrick. Since the award of the grant in 2009 through February 2, 2012, DMF had expensed $1.76 million of the $2 million awarded, including $1.2 million in lost income and health insurance subsidies for 263 qualified commercial shellfish harvesters. The remaining funds were allocated to increase the capacity of the Commonwealth’s red tide monitoring program.
Improvements Needed in Management of Recovery Funds at Three Public School Districts
August 24, 2012
State Auditor Suzanne Bump today issued three audits of local school districts (Oxford, Hudson, and Marshfield), each finding the school system lacked documented policies to ensure federal grant money is being spent properly and safeguarded from loss, theft, and misuse.
From the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, all three schools were awarded between $400,000 and $1.2 million in federal funds by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Under federal guidelines for the administration of ARRA funds, school districts and other government agencies are responsible for establishing a documented system of internal controls specific to the ARRA grants. When auditors reviewed each school’s management of ARRA funds, neither Oxford, Hudson, nor Marshfield had formalized such policies.
Worcester Telegram & Gazette: Messy books
August 7, 2012 - The following content was originally published by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Public officials have few duties more important than being good financial stewards. A recent audit of the Central Massachusetts Special Education Collaborative reveals that officials there fell far short of acceptable standards, resulting in overcharging member communities for services, and failing to maximize potential retirement benefits for employees.
...Ms. Bump and her office deserve credit for following through on their stated intentions to conduct aggressive and thorough audits throughout Massachusetts. The discovery of financial irregularities such as these — dating back more than 20 years and adversely affecting hundreds of public employees — demonstrates how important a role the state auditor can play...
Glen Cunha Swears-in as New Inspector General
August 6, 2012
Former Assistant Attorney General Glenn A Cunha was sworn in today by Governor Deval Patrick as Massachusetts' fourth Inspector General. State Auditor Suzanne Bump and Attorney General Martha Coakley, who co-selected Cunha with the Governor, joined the ceremony.
A lawyer with a master’s degree in business administration, Cunha has worked in the public and private sectors for 30 years, building complex investigations, prosecuting cases in court and preventing and detecting fraud in many areas, including insurance, public benefits, charities and fraud by public officials. Cunha replaces outgoing Inspector General Gregory Sullivan, who will complete his second five year term, the maximum allowed by statute, on August 2, 2012.
“Glenn’s commitment to public service over the course of his 30-year career is truly exemplary,” said State Auditor Suzanne Bump. “His work in prosecution and in combating fraud has made a real difference to the lives of citizens of our Commonwealth. This background, coupled with his leadership skills, makes him the perfect choice to be Massachusetts’ next Inspector General.”
Achieving Excellence in Government Auditing
August 6, 2012 - The following article is reprinted with permission by the Massachusetts Society of CPAs
As the Auditor for the Commonwealth, I am mandated by state law to provide an independent and objective evaluation of Massachusetts’ financial and programmatic activities in adherence with the Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS) promulgated by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. These are the standards by which every government auditor in the country is judged.
When an audit conducted by my office reveals an issue or problem, I advise those on the receiving end to use it as a tool for redressing their accounting, internal control, security and outcome deficiencies. I focus on the positive use of the findings, but I know all too well how little that advice mitigates the initial shock and professional embarrassment.
In 2011, shortly after I was sworn in as the first new Auditor of the Commonwealth in 24 years, I sought a peer review through the National State Auditors Association (NSAA) – something that had not been done in 15 years. The results presented leadership and operational challenges.
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