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Audit Audit of the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office

Audit encourages the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office to establish a process to measure the success of its Diversion Program. The audit examined the period of January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017.

Organization: Office of the State Auditor
Date published: October 24, 2018

Executive Summary

In accordance with Section 12 of Chapter 11 of the Massachusetts General Laws, the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) has conducted a performance audit of the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office (NDAO) for the period January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017.

In this performance audit, we examined NDAO’s activities related to the administration of its Diversion and Victim Witness Programs. Unlike the Victim Witness Program, NDAO’s Diversion Program is discretionary, was not governed by statute during the audit period, and does not receive separate funding. Therefore, our assessment of this program was based on contract-specific requirements, national best practices, and general government operating standards.

Below is a summary of our finding and recommendation, with links to each page listed.

Finding 1

NDAO has not established a process to measure the success of its Diversion Program.

Recommendation

NDAO should consider ways to evaluate the Diversion Program data that it currently collects to help identify measures of program success other than participants’ successful completion of the program, identify areas where program improvements may be needed, and support requests to the Legislature for any necessary program-specific funding.

During our audit, NDAO imposed significant constraints on the audit process because the office was concerned about the confidentiality of information related to participants in its Diversion and Victim Witness Programs. Specifically, NDAO did not give us access to certain information regarding program participants that OSA needed to conduct its audit testing in a timely manner. These constraints prevented OSA from reaching a conclusion on one of the three audit objectives and significantly delayed the completion of the audit.

A PDF copy of the audit of the Norfolk District Attorney's Office is available here.

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