• This page, Audit of the Cape Ann Transportation Authority Audit Objectives, Scope, and Methodology, is offered by
  • Office of the State Auditor

Audit of the Cape Ann Transportation Authority Audit Objectives, Scope, and Methodology

An overview of the purpose and process of auditing the Cape Ann Transportation 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 Cape Ann Transportation Authority (CATA) 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; the conclusion we reached regarding each objective; and, if applicable, where each objective is discussed in the audit findings.



  1. Did CATA 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 CATA 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?

No; see Finding 1

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

No; see Finding 2

To achieve our audit objectives, we gained an understanding of CATA’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 reviewed the data in the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet maintained by CATA that documents all fleet maintenance and repairs for the 49 vehicles in CATA’s fleet during the audit period to determine whether all vehicles used and vehicle maintenance performed during the audit period were recorded in the spreadsheet.
  • We ensured that CATA had a vehicle maintenance schedule and reviewed all 49 vehicles that had maintenance during our audit period 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 CATA followed specific vehicles’ manufacturer guidelines and the required FTA preventive maintenance guidelines.
  • We asked CATA 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 CATA management whether the keys to non-revenue-producing vehicles were in the possession of the general manager or other employees of CATA or were left in the vehicles.
  • We requested the sign-in/sign-out log for non-revenue-producing vehicles.
  • We examined the state’s publicly available, searchable website to determine whether it included data for CATA expenditures, including payroll, to ensure transparency with regard to the agency’s spending.

We obtained a full copy of the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet listing vehicle preventive maintenance and assessed the reliability of the data. We reconciled the spreadsheet to the vehicle inventory list and documented purchases and disposals during our audit period.

Date published: November 2, 2018

Help Us Improve Mass.gov with your feedback