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Audit of the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority Objectives, Scope, and Methodology

An overview of the purpose and process of auditing the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority.

Table of Contents

Overview

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 Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) 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.  

Objective

Conclusion

  1. Did GATRA 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?

Yes

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

No; see Finding 2

To achieve our audit objectives, we gained an understanding of GATRA’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 software systems maintained at each of the four maintenance facilities to document all vehicle fleet maintenance and repairs to determine whether all vehicles used and vehicle maintenance performed during the audit period were recorded in the databases.
  • We verified that all four of the maintenance facilities had vehicle maintenance schedules 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 GATRA followed specific vehicles’ manufacturer guidelines and the required FTA preventive maintenance guidelines.
  • We extracted from all four of the maintenance facilities’ software systems 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 for each facility. For the Professional Transit Management of Attleboro Inc. facility, we used the Ron Turley Associates Inc. (RTAI) software and tested a nonstatistical random sample of 15 out of 93 vehicles during the audit period. Since the sample for this facility was nonstatistical, we could not project the results of the test to the population. For Plymouth and Brockton Street Railway Co., we used the RTAI software and tested the work orders of all 16 vehicles at the maintenance facility during the audit period. For Kiessling Transit Inc., we used the Distinctive Systems software and tested the work orders of all 12 vehicles at the maintenance facility during the audit period. For A&A Metro Transportation (doing business as Bill’s Taxi Service Inc.), we used the Dossier Systems Inc. software and tested the work orders of all 37 vehicles at the maintenance facility during the audit period. For each maintenance facility, we verified that the preventive maintenance performed met the manufacturers’ standards.
  • For Professional Transit Management of Attleboro Inc., we reviewed a nonstatistical random sample of 10 of the 29 work orders for non-revenue-producing vehicles, which we compared to the data in the RTAI software. We reviewed a statistical sample of 30 out of 1,023 work orders for revenue-producing vehicles, using a 95% confidence level and a 10% tolerable error rate, and compared them to the data in the RTAI software. The RTAI database included 100 work orders that did not have specific revenue-producing or non-revenue-producing vehicles assigned to them. We tested 25 out of 100 unassigned vehicle work orders, which we compared to the data in the RTAI software and discussed with management to gain an understanding of them. For the Kiessling Transit Inc. facility, we reviewed a nonstatistical random sample of 30 of the 252 work orders for revenue-producing vehicles, which we compared to the data in the Distinctive Systems software. For all four maintenance facilities, we verified attributes of the work orders pertaining to the maintenance work performed.
  • We asked GATRA 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 GATRA management whether the keys to non-revenue-producing vehicles were in the possession of the general manager of Professional Transit Management of Attleboro Inc., Plymouth and Brockton Street Railway Co., Kiessling Transit Inc., and A&A Metro Transportation or GATRA personnel 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 ensure that it included data for GATRA expenditures, including payroll, to ensure transparency with regard to the agency’s spending.
  • When we used a nonstatistical sampling approach, we could not project the results of the test to the entire population.

We obtained a full copy of the RTAI, Distinctive Systems, and Dossier Systems Inc. software systems and assessed the reliability of the data. We analyzed RTAI, Distinctive Systems, and Dossier Systems Inc. data by performing validity and integrity tests, including testing for missing data and scanning for duplicate records. We performed a source documentation review of each of the four maintenance facilities’ vehicle lists to ensure that that each vehicle matched the information in the maintenance facilities’ software systems. Additionally, for the Professional Transit Management of Attleboro Inc. facility and the Kiessling Transit Inc. facility, we performed source documentation reviews of the original hardcopy work orders to ensure that they matched the information in the facilities’ software systems. We determined that the data from the RTAI, Distinctive Systems, and Dossier Systems Inc. software systems were sufficiently reliable for the purposes of our audit.

Date published: October 3, 2018
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