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Audit of the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority Objectives, Scope, and Methodology

An overview of the purpose and process of auditing the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority.

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 certain activities of the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority (BRTA) for the period July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2017.

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 and the conclusion we reached regarding each objective.



  1. Did BRTA maintain a cost maintenance log for each vehicle to ensure that preventive maintenance for vehicles and equipment for transporting passengers with disabilities under the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was up to date per Federal Transit Administration (FTA) guidelines?


  1. Did BRTA submit all required financial records to the Commonwealth for inclusion on the Commonwealth’s searchable website as required by Section 14C of Chapter 7 of the General Laws?


  1. Did BRTA properly manage the use of its non-revenue-producing vehicles?


To achieve our audit objectives, we gained an understanding of BRTA’s internal controls that we deemed significant to our audit objectives through inquiries and observations, and we evaluated the design of controls over cost maintenance logs, financial reporting to the Commonwealth, and non-revenue-producing vehicles.

In addition, we performed the following procedures to obtain sufficient, appropriate audit evidence to address the audit objectives:

  • We analyzed the data in the Ron Turley Associates, Inc. (RTAI) Fleet Management Software maintained by BRTA, which documents all vehicle fleet maintenance and repairs, to determine whether all vehicles used and vehicle maintenance performed during the audit period were properly documented.
  • We verified that BRTA had a vehicle maintenance schedule and tested to determine whether the agency followed the recommended schedule for preventive maintenance and replacement.
  • We compared records of the mileage traveled per vehicle to records of oil changes performed during the audit period and tested to determine whether BRTA followed specific vehicles’ manufacturer guidelines and the required FTA preventive maintenance guidelines.
  • We extracted from the RTAI software a fleet inventory list and maintenance records. Using Audit Command Language software, we grouped the work orders based on the associated vehicle license plate numbers and then generated a list that identified the number of work orders per vehicle. We judgmentally selected a nonstatistical sample of 15 out of 68 vehicles, choosing the 10 vehicles with the most work orders and the 5 vehicles with the fewest work orders. We verified that the preventive maintenance performed met the manufacturers’ standards. Because this sample was nonstatistical, we could not project the results of the test to the population.
  • We asked BRTA management about the use of non-revenue-producing vehicles and the process of lending a non-revenue-producing vehicle from the motor pool.
  • We asked BRTA management whether the keys to non-revenue-producing vehicles were in the possession of the general manager of First Transit Incorporated or BRTA personnel or were left in the vehicles.
  • We requested and reviewed the sign-in/sign-out log for non-revenue-producing vehicles.
  • We examined the state’s publicly available, searchable website, as well as BRTA’s website, to ensure that they included data for BRTA expenditures, including payroll, to ensure transparency with regard to the agency’s spending.

We analyzed the RTAI Fleet Management Software by performing validity and integrity tests, including testing for missing data and scanning for duplicate records. We performed a source documentation review of BRTA’s vehicle list to ensure that that each vehicle matched the information in the RTAI software. We determined that the data from this system were sufficiently reliable for the purposes of our audit.

Date published: July 9, 2018

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