Post-Audit Accountability Initiative Finds State Saving $12.8 Million Due to Audit Recommendations
February 29, 2012
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.”
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.
Audit Report: Post-Audit Review Surveys Second Quarter Report - FY2012
Press Release: Unfunded Mandate Costs School Districts $11.3 Million Statewide
WGGB Springfield: Unfunded State Mandates Costing Cities and Towns
February 7, 2012
State Auditor Suzanne Bump releases the results of a statewide survey showing that unfunded state mandates are costing cities and towns more and more money. Those costs total more than 11-million dollars this fiscal year.
Massachusetts participates in a federal program in which cities and towns are required to provide transportation and education of homeless children after they are placed in a different community for temporary housing.
For example if a student in one community is left homeless and moved into a motel in another city or town then both communities share the cost of transporting that student to school.
And those costs are adding up.
Three of the top six cities in the state for spending on homeless transportation and education costs are in Western Massachusetts.
Springfield was second spending $562,650, Chicopee third at $431,333, and Holyoke sixth at $311,050.
State Auditor Suzanne Bump has written a letter to Governor Patrick and members of the legislature urging the state to fully fund this mandated cost for cities and towns.
Unfunded Mandate Costs School Districts $11.3 Million Statewide
February 7, 2012
State Auditor Suzanne Bump announced today the results of a statewide survey which found that school districts are projected to spend close to $11.3 million this fiscal year as a result of an unfunded state mandate.
Due to the state’s participation in a federal program, cities and towns are required to provide transportation and education of some homeless children after they are placed in a different municipality for temporary housing. In two separate analyses conducted last year, Auditor Bump determined the requirement to be an unfunded mandate.
The state’s application of the federal Mckinney-Vento program requires both the community hosting homeless students and the community from which students originate to share the cost of the students’ transportation. Today’s survey shows that 33 communities are projected to spend over $100,000 to meet this requirement.”
The top ten school districts most affected by the mandate include:
School District Transportation Cost for FY2012 Boston $760,949 Springfield $562,650 Chicopee $431,333 Worcester $425,000 Malden $396,831 Holyoke $311,050 New Bedford $310,000 Brockton $285,000 Framingham $225,000 Weymouth $217,893
Along with the results of this survey, Auditor Bump has sent a letter to Governor Patrick and members of the legislature in which she recommends lawmakers to consider fully funding this mandated cost for FY2012 in a supplemental budget appropriation, and provide ongoing reimbursements in future budgets.
The Daily Shrewsbury: Shrewsbury Housing Authority Fixes Reserves After State Audit
February 6, 2012
Although a state audit released on Friday identified the Shrewsbury Housing Authority as operating with reserves below recommended levels, Chairman of the Authority Richard Ricker the problem has since been fixed.
The audit found that the Shrewsbury Housing Authority's operating reserve, experiencing three years of decline, held a $12,688 negative balance in Fiscal Year 2010, $156,127 below its minimum level. This does not comply with state guidelines which require the agencies to retain at least 20 percent of its fiscal year budgeted expenditures in an operating reserve.
"The negative balance was a result of a previous accounting error that caused us to spend money from the reserves," Ricker said. "We normally wouldn't do that." Ricker said the authority has since switched accountants and brought up their reserves, by raising rents and with help from a small state grant. They also cut back on expenses and didn't do any capital improvements to the authority's properties last year.
Boston Man Used Two Identities to Defraud Welfare Programs $21,320
February 2, 2012
A Boston man was arraigned today at Boston Municipal Court on charges that he fraudulently collected $21,320 in food and cash assistance from the Supplemental Nutritional Program (SNAP) and Emergency Assistance for Elderly and Disabled Children (EAEDC), Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne Bump announced today.
Thomas Cater, 47, was charged with larceny over $250 and false representations to produce welfare (five counts). Judge Thomas C. Horgan held Cater on $5,000 bail and the case was continued to February 29 for a pre-trial hearing.
Cater used the name "Thomas Miller" in order to collect two sets of SNAP and EAEDC benefits. When applying for benefits, Cater used two separate Social Security Numbers and listed two separate public housing residences. Under his true identity, Cater is registered as a tenant with the Boston Housing Authority, and under his Miller alias, Cater is also registered as a tenant with Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership.
Cater continued his scheme by making false representations on five DTA eligibility review forms between June 29, 2005 and July 28, 2011.
The charges are a result of an investigation by Auditor Bump’s Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI).