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Audit of Bridgewater State University Objectives, Scope, and Methodology

An explanation of what this audit examined and how it was conducted.

Table of Contents


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 Bridgewater State University’s (BSU’s) recycling practices for the period July 1, 2014 through December 31, 2016.

We conducted this performance audit in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives.

Below is a list of our audit objectives, indicating each question we intended our audit to answer, the conclusion we reached regarding each objective, and where each objective is discussed in the audit findings.



  1. Does BSU comply with Section 7C of Executive Order 515?

Partially; see Finding 1

  1. Does any contract for waste removal/recycling entered into by BSU provide credits for recyclable material with value and ensure that banned materials do not end up in landfills?

Partially; see Finding 1

  1. Does BSU monitor the contractor’s provision of a recycling certificate or other information to ensure that materials are properly recycled?

No; see Finding 1

  1. Does BSU track recycling progress through contractor trash audits, hauler reports, or other means? If so, does BSU use this information to improve its recycling performance?

Partially; see Finding 1

We gained an understanding of the BSU internal controls we deemed significant to our audit objectives through inquiries and observations. We evaluated the design and effectiveness of controls over contracts for waste removal/recycling entered into by BSU. In addition, we performed the following procedures to obtain sufficient, appropriate audit evidence to address our audit objectives.

  • We examined all available documentation related to the annual walkthroughs performed by student managers that was retained by the BSU Department of Facilities Management and Planning staff during our 30-month audit period.
  • We obtained all of the invoices for hazardous materials generated during the audit period and ensured that each had a manifest attached. In addition, we selected 5 of the 33 invoices and reviewed the related manifests to determine whether the materials were accounted for from their generation on campus to their transport and disposal at a hazardous-waste facility.
  • We examined 10 monthly invoices that reported tonnage hauled by the recycling contractor, out of the 30 received by BSU during our audit period, to (1) determine whether amounts were accurately recorded for analysis by the university and (2) ensure that recycled materials were not sent to landfills and that appropriate credits were received by the university.
  • The university provided copies of logbooks where work orders are recorded, noting locations, departments, and buildings where recycling infrastructure was moved and placed as requested on the work order (a form used to request unscheduled pickups of recyclables). We examined 31 work orders out of the 579 logged during our audit period to determine whether the activity associated with those work orders was supported by documented requests for the work performed.
  • To ensure that BSU tracked the hauler’s performance and monitored its activities during the audit period, we interviewed the recycling coordinator about the annual visits she made to the hauler facility and asked whether she requested recycling certificates from the hauler.
  • To determine the reliability of data recorded on the university’s master spreadsheet of monthly recycling activity, we interviewed management personnel who were responsible for the process and for the source data. We obtained original source documents, such as invoices and fair market value rate sheets for certain transactions generated by the hauler of recyclable materials removed from the university, to validate the accuracy of the spreadsheet. We determined that the data were sufficiently reliable for the purposes of our audit report.

Where sampling was used, we used nonstatistical judgmental samples and, accordingly, could not project the results of our tests to the entire population.

Date published: March 20, 2018