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Audit Audit of the Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC)

The audit showed the Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC) has been consistently missing required state deadlines for abuse investigations and did not have a system for identifying persons with repeated allegations of reported abuse. The audit examined July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019.

Organization: Office of the State Auditor
Date published: June 16, 2021

Executive Summary

In accordance with Section 12 of Chapter 11 of the Massachusetts General Laws, the Office of the State Auditor has conducted a performance audit of the Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC) for the period July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019. The objective of our audit was to follow up on the issues identified in our prior audit report (No. 2015-0046-3S) to determine what measures, if any, DPPC had taken to address them, as well as the adequacy of those measures. In addition, we reviewed DPPC’s ability to ensure that protective service plans (PSPs) were submitted in a timely manner, its compliance with regulatory requirements for abuse investigations, and its investigation of individuals with a history of abuse allegations.

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

Finding 1
 

DPPC did not ensure that alleged abusers were always advised of their rights.

Recommendation
 

DPPC should enhance its policies and procedures by implementing effective monitoring controls to ensure that alleged abusers are made aware of their rights before being interviewed for abuse investigations.

Finding 2
 

DPPC does not always complete its investigations within the required timeframes or document the reasons for not doing so.

Recommendations
 

  1. DPPC should enhance its policies and procedures by implementing effective monitoring controls to ensure that investigators complete Initial Responses (IRs) and 19C reports within the required timeframes and that when filing deadlines are not met, evidence of the reasons for the delay is documented, verified, and retained in case files.
  2. DPPC should continue to work with the Department of Developmental Services, the Department of Mental Health, and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission to complete IRs for emergency cases within 24 hours, IRs for non-emergency cases within 10 days, and 19C reports within 30 days.

Finding 3

DPPC did not ensure that it consistently received final PSPs from providers for victims of alleged abuse.

Recommendation
 

DPPC should implement effective monitoring controls within its policies and procedures to ensure that providers complete PSPs within required timeframes.

Finding 4

DPPC did not always identify and properly document individuals who had been identified as alleged abusers in multiple reports.

Recommendation
 

DPPC should establish formal policies and procedures, and develop monitoring controls, to ensure that all staff members identify alleged abusers who have been involved with three or more reports of abuse and document this information in the “Other Pertinent Information” field of the Intake Abuse Form.

 

A PDF copy of the audit of the Disabled Persons Protection Commission is available here.

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