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Audit Audit of the Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office

This transition audit of the BCDA examined activities related to its internal control plan (ICP) and issues related to improperly remitted forfeited funds. It covers the period of July 1, 2016 through March 31, 2018.

Organization: Office of the State Auditor
Date published: January 14, 2019

Executive Summary

In accordance with Section 12 of Chapter 11 of the Massachusetts General Laws, the Office of the State Auditor has performed an audit of the Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office (BCDA) for the period July 1, 2016 through March 31, 2018. In this audit, we examined BCDA’s compliance with Section 5 of Chapter 258B of the General Laws for the Victim Witness Assistance Program. We also examined BCDA’s internal control plan (ICP); compliance with Chapter 647 of the Acts of 1989; budget and budgeting practices; and internal controls over expenses, inventory, and forfeited funds.

BCDA’s newly appointed District Attorney, who was sworn in on March 15, 2018, requested this transition audit after the retirement of the prior District Attorney, who had served since 2004. Transition audits are typically requested by newly elected or appointed officials to obtain an understanding of an organization’s financial situation and any areas needing corrective action and improvement.

Below is a summary of our findings and recommendations, with links to each page listed.

Finding 1
 

BCDA’s ICP does not comply with the Comptroller of the Commonwealth’s Internal Control Guide.

Recommendations
 

  1. BCDA should immediately update its ICP to include all the critical components of enterprise risk management.
  2. BCDA should establish policies and procedures for annually updating its ICP, as well as monitoring controls to ensure that these policies and procedures are adhered to.

Finding 2
 

Some forfeited funds were not remitted to BCDA in a timely manner.

Recommendations
 

  1. BCDA should periodically communicate to Assistant District Attorneys that it is their responsibility to notify the chief of Appeals and BCDA’s director of Fiscal Affairs of all forfeitures ordered by court motion in a timely manner.
  2. BCDA should modify its policies to require that all motions for forfeiture be recorded in the District Attorney Management Information Office Network to allow for the tracking of all forfeited funds.

 

A PDF copy of the Audit of the Berkshire County District Attorney's Office is available here.

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