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 Hampden County District Attorney’s Office (HCDA) for the period July 1, 2016 through December 31, 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.
No; see Finding 1
To achieve our objectives, we gained an understanding of HCDA’s internal controls that we deemed significant to our audit objectives by reviewing applicable laws, regulations, and agency policies and procedures, as well as conducting interviews with HCDA’s staff and management. We also evaluated the design and tested the effectiveness of the controls over HCDA’s Juvenile Diversion Program.
Additionally, we performed the following procedures:
- We reviewed a nonstatistical, judgmental sample of 30 of 383 participants who completed the Juvenile Diversion Program during the audit period to determine whether they successfully completed all program requirements before their cases were dismissed. The requirements can include community service, restitution, questionnaires, counseling, and education courses.
- We asked two members of HCDA management whether HCDA measures and evaluates the outcomes of the Juvenile Diversion Program to determine whether the program’s goal is being met.
- We reviewed a nonstatistical, judgmental sample of 60 of 5,990 cases tried during the audit period involving charges for crimes related to Chapter 265 of the General Laws to ensure that HCDA offered victims and witnesses of crime the rights and services governed by Section 5 of Chapter 258B of the General Laws.
We obtained criminal case data from the District Attorney Management Information Office Network system, which is the case-management system HCDA uses. We reviewed the controls HCDA had implemented regarding access to this system, as well as user roles and responsibilities. We traced a sample of cases to hardcopy court records for agreement. We also ensured that these cases were appropriately classified by criminal offense in the system. Based on our audit work, we determined that the data were sufficiently reliable for our purposes.
We used an Excel spreadsheet provided by HCDA to identify the participants in the Juvenile Diversion Program. To determine the reliability of the data, we traced source documents to and from data produced from the Excel spreadsheet. Based on our audit work, we determined that the data were sufficiently reliable for our purposes.
Whenever sampling was used, we applied a nonstatistical approach, and as a result, we were not able to project our results to the entire population.
|September 13, 2018