Daily Hampshire Gazette: State audit of Northampton Housing Authority finds room for improvement in agency’s procurement practices
January 29, 2014 – The following content was originally in the Daily Hampshire Gazette
A state audit has found that the Northampton Housing Authority maintains sound procurement practices but flagged three instances when the agency ran afoul of competitive bidding guidelines.
The review by state Auditor Suzanne M. Bump examined nearly $1 million in spending at the agency over two years. The procurement issues flagged involved $7,245 for pest control services, $11,109 for painting and $15,609 for carpet and flooring installation between July 2010 and June 2012.
NB Standard Times: State Auditor approves UMass Dartmouth’s proposal to privatize campus bookstore Editorial
January 28, 2014 – The following content was originally in the Standard Times
State Auditor Suzanne Bump has approved UMass Dartmouth's proposal to privatize its campus bookstore. The proposal submitted last year demonstrates "the public interest is being served by providing services that are at least of equal quality to the services provided by public sector workers, and that the public will not end up losing money," Bump said in the release.
2/4/14 – Lowell Sun editorial
BBJ Editorial: Contractor flap would be a serious matter in private sector
January 17, 2014 - The following content was originally published by the Boston Business Journal.
Credit state auditor Suzanne Bump with thorough work and also providing the business community with a rich irony by uncovering various violations at the state Department of Transportation in its use of contract employees. The irony here is the state has created a set of onerous and punitive independent contractor rules that one of its own agencies routinely flouted. It’s the classic “do as we say, not as we do” scenario.
The state auditors uncovered some bizarre contractor situations at the DOT, including IT consultants serving as supervisors for state employees. One IT contractor had an 11-year tenure at the DOT.
Boston Business Journal: MassDOT IT Consultant Audit
January 9, 2014 - The following content was originally published by the Boston Business Journal.
State Auditor Suzanne Bum's office today released a tough report on the use of consultants by the state Department of Transportation for information technology work.
The audit states the DOT resorted to inappropriate hiring and employment practices to bring consultants on board, in some cases circumventing state laws in the process. The report said DOT spent $22 million on consultants in recent years — and in one case retained a consultant for 11 years. The audit asserts some of the work done by consultants should have been performed by state employees.
"These findings suggest that MassDOT has been circumventing the administration’s imposed salary and staff number limits by misusing consultants,” Bump said in a prepared statement accompanying the release of the audit. “The agency needs to find a lawful way to staff its IT functions.”
Boston Globe: Audit details Worcester agency’s troubles
January 3, 2014 - The following content was originally published by the Boston Globe.
A defunct Worcester social service agency charged more than $143,000 in questionable expenses to the state before it closed, according to a recent report from the state auditor’s office.
The troubled nonprofit, the Henry Lee Willis Community Center Inc., also accumulated about $1 million in debt to the state and other creditors, including $235,569 to the state’s unemployment insurance fund, by the time it shut down.
The community center, which provided a variety of social service programs in Central Massachusetts and relied primarily on state funding, was finally forced to close its doors last Feb. 15 after four state agencies pulled their contracts because of concerns about the center’s management and continued financial woes.
The financial problems appeared to have been years in the making. The Dec. 19 audit found that the Department of Children and Families flagged the nonprofit’s financial problems as early as 2009. The agency’s own auditor repeatedly noted that the nonprofit had problems with its credit card documentation in fiscal years 2009 through 2012.
01/03/14 - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
01/03/14 - Worcester Magazine
01/05/14 - Worcester Telegram & Gazette editorial
01/08/14 - Worcester Telegram & Gazette column
01/08/14 - GoLocal Worcester