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Audit Audit of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW)

The audit found that the organization did not ensure commissioners acknowledged their responsibilities under the Open Meeting Law and did not ensure they completed a required training on conflicts of interest. The audit examined the period of July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019.

Organization: Office of the State Auditor
Date published: August 27, 2020

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 Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW) for the period July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019. The purpose of our audit was to determine whether MCSW had a fully appointed 19-member commission as required by Section 66(1) of Chapter 3 of the General Laws, complied with Section 20(h) of Chapter 30 of the General Laws (the Open Meeting Law), ensured that its employees completed an online training program1 related to the state’s Conflict of Interest Law as required by Section 28 of Chapter 268A of the General Laws, and ensured that its 11 regional commissions had up-to-date bylaws.

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

Finding 1

MCSW did not ensure that all commissioners had signed Certificates of Receipt of Open Meeting Law Materials.

Recommendation

MCSW should develop a formal policy informing newly appointed and reappointed commissioners that they are required to sign a Certificate of Receipt of Open Meeting Law Materials within two weeks of qualifying for office and provide a copy of the certificate to MCSW.

Finding 2

MCSW did not ensure that all commissioners had completed the required Conflict of Interest Law training.

Recommendation

MCSW should update its procedures to include informing newly appointed and reappointed commissioners that they are required to complete Conflict of Interest Law training within 30 days after their appointment or reappointment, and every 2 years thereafter, and to provide MCSW with a Certificate of Completion of Conflict of Interest Law Training once it has been completed.

 

A PDF copy of the audit of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women is available here.

 

1.     The training program provides employees who are subject to the Conflict of Interest Law with information on how the law governs situations where their public responsibilities conflict with personal interests. These situations include receipt of gifts, favoritism toward family or friends, and decisions benefiting personal financial interests. The training explains how to recognize and properly address these situations.

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