Commonwealth of Massachusetts | Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission
Five Middlesex Avenue, Suite 304, Somerville, MA 02145
Ph 617 666 4446 | Fax 617 628 4002 | TTY 617 591 8917 | www.mass.gov/perac
Domenic J. F. Russo, Chairman
Auditor Suzanne M. Bump | Paul V. Doane | James M. Machado | Donald R. Marquis | Robert B. McCarthy | Gregory R. Mennis

Joseph E. Connarton, Executive Director

February 15, 2011

Mr. Franklin J. Spaulding, Chairman
Newburyport Retirement Board
City Hall
60 Pleasant Street
Newburyport, MA 01950

REFERENCE: Report of the Examination of the Newburyport Retirement Board for the three-year period from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2008.

Dear Chairman Spaulding:

The Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission has completed a follow-up review of the findings and recommendations contained in its audit report of the Newburyport Retirement Board for the most recent period referenced above. We conduct these visits as a regular part of the oversight process. They are designed to ensure the timely implementation of corrective action for the recommendations cited in that report. The examination addressed several specific findings and recommendations included in the audit report for the period referenced above. The results are as follows:

1. The Audit Report cited a finding that a Board member had an absenteeism rate from 2006-2009 of 50% which is considered to be excessive.
Follow-up Result

The auditor reviewed Board attendance from November 2009 through December 2010 and noted no improvement in attendance. Although the Board member participates in the meetings via the internet or by phone, this mode of participation is still considered to be unaccepted by PERAC. This issue is not resolved.

2.  The Audit Report cited a finding that a sample of members’ 2% deduction rates were not being correctly withheld when a 2nd paycheck was issued with earnings subject to retirement deductions.

Follow-up Result:
The 2% statutory deduction continues to be bypassed when a 2nd paycheck is issued. A payroll system programming correction is under consideration at this time.  This issue is not resolved.

PERAC auditors may conduct an additional follow-up visit to ensure appropriate progress is being made in those areas that have not been corrected adequately at this time.

Sincerely,

Joseph E. Connarton
Executive Director

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