Audit  Audit of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department

This audit calls on the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department (SCSD) to improve its oversight of overtime and payroll spending, as well as its procedures for submitting inmate cost analysis reports. The initial audit period of July 1, 2015, through December 31, 2017, was extended to April 26, 2018, to review additional matters related to overtime expenses.

Organization: Office of the State Auditor
Date published: April 11, 2019

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 Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department (SCSD) for the period July 1, 2015 through December 31, 2017. In this performance audit, we reviewed SCSD’s administrative expenditures, procurement of goods and services, and administration of staff overtime.

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

Finding 1

SCSD did not properly approve $25,599 in payroll expenses, including $17,734 in overtime payments.


  1. SCSD should take the measures necessary to ensure that all Time and Attendance Roster Forms are properly reviewed and approved.
  2. SCSD should consider amending its current procedures to require that the assistant superintendent of operations or their designee who reviews the daily Time and Attendance Roster Forms also sign off on the forms to acknowledge that this review has been performed.
  3. SCSD should establish monitoring controls to ensure that these procedures are followed.

Finding 2

SCSD did not submit required inmate total cost analysis reports.


SCSD should work with the Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association and the Executive Office for Administration and Finance to obtain the information it needs to make sure it files its annual cost reports within the prescribed timelines.

Post-Audit Action

SCSD’s director of human resources stated that SCSD would review and strengthen its internal controls over the processing of payroll and instruct all shift commanders and assistant superintendents about the appropriate procedures for approving daily Time and Attendance Roster Forms.


A PDF copy of the audit of the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department is available here.





(617) 727-3014


Massachusetts State House
Room 230
Boston, MA 02133

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