Audit  Audit of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy

The audit examined MMA’s compliance with certain aspects of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act), as amended. The audit examined period of July 1, 2017 through December 31, 2019.

Organization: Office of the State Auditor
Date published: March 3, 2022

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 Maritime Academy (MMA) for the period July 1, 2017 through December 31, 2019. In this performance audit, we examined MMA’s compliance with certain aspects of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act), as amended. The Clery Act, which was enacted in 1990, is intended to protect current and prospective students and employees from crimes by requiring public and private colleges and universities to disclose information on campus security and crime prevention procedures and practices, as well as certain incidents that occur within their geography.1

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

Finding 1
 

MMA did not maintain a current and complete daily crime log.

Recommendations
 

  1. MMA should develop policies and procedures that require its Student Services Office (SSO) staff to identify all Clery Act crimes and report them to the Public Safety Office (PSO) within two business days after they are reported to SSO.
  2. MMA should establish monitoring controls to ensure that these policies and procedures are followed.
  3. MMA should ensure that SSO staff members are properly trained on how to identify Clery Act crimes and report them to PSO staff members for inclusion in the daily crime log.

Finding 2
 

MMA did not accurately report Clery Act crime statistics in its 2020 annual security report (ASR), did not retain adequate documentation to support its reported crime statistics, and did not always make reasonable efforts to obtain Clery Act crime statistics from local or state police.

Recommendations
 

  1. MMA should develop policies and procedures that require its staff to record and report incidents using the Clery Act crime categories (as well as their locations, including whether they occurred in residential facilities), to retain the documentation, and to make a reasonable effort to obtain statistics on Clery Act crimes that occur within its geography from local or state police. The policies and procedures should also require the staff to use TriTech’s data field to classify Clery Act crimes, as appropriate.
  2. MMA should provide periodic training to its staff regarding how to properly review campus crime records and how to categorize and report the information from these records in ASRs using the Clery Act crime categories.

Finding 3
 

MMA did not provide required Clery Act training to all newly enrolled students and newly hired employees.

Recommendations
 

  1. MMA should establish policies and procedures that ensure that Clery Act–required training is assigned to, and completed by, all newly enrolled students and newly hired employees.
  2. MMA should establish monitoring controls to ensure that staff members adhere to these policies and procedures.

Finding 4
 

Some of the information in MMA’s 2018 and 2019 ASRs was incomplete and inaccurate.

Recommendations
 

  1. MMA should ensure that the staff members who are responsible for preparing its ASRs are properly trained on what information must be disclosed therein.
  2. MMA should establish monitoring controls (e.g., formal supervisory review or a quality assurance process) to ensure that the information in its ASRs is accurate and complete.

 

Post-Audit Action

In their response to this report, MMA officials noted,

Immediately following the in-person out-brief by members of the Office of the State Auditor last August . . . our new vice president for student services . . . sought out the services of D. Stafford and Associates to conduct an off-site review of our Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, to conduct both on and off site review of the methodology and process for complying with the Clery Act (which will include 2.5 days of training for members of our newly formed Clery Compliance Committee), and to conduct an incident report/records review. Our work with the assigned team from D. Stafford and Associates began in earnest and continues with planned on and off-site engagements scheduled for mid-March with a report and recommendations to follow shortly thereafter.

 

A PDF copy of the Audit of Massachusetts Maritime Academy is available here.

 

1.    According to the United States Department of Education’s 2016 edition of the Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting, a college’s or university’s geography includes places “(1) on campus, (2) on public property within or immediately adjacent to the campus, and (3) in or on noncampus buildings or property that your institution owns or controls.”

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