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 Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office (MDAO) for the period July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020.
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.
To achieve our objectives, we gained an understanding of MDAO’s internal control environment related to the objectives by reviewing applicable agency policies and procedures, as well as conducting inquires with MDAO management.
In addition, we performed the following audit procedures to obtain sufficient audit evidence to address our audit objectives.
For YADP, we selected a random, nonstatistical sample of 40 case files from a population of 442 cases. We reviewed the case files to ensure the following:
- To determine whether the YADP coordinator/director conducted an assessment of the needs of program participants, we verified that each case file contained documentation of referral from the police, an Assistant District Attorney (ADA), or a defense attorney.
- To determine whether each young adult had signed the YADP Agreement for acceptance into the program, we verified that each agreement had been signed by the young adult and by YADP personnel.
- To determine whether professional services had been provided to each young adult, we verified the presence of correspondence between the providers, the program participant, and the young adult case manager.
- To determine whether MDAO actively monitored each case, we verified the existence of documented correspondence between the young adult, the young adult case manager, and service providers, such as outside social workers or psychologists. The correspondence consisted of phone logs, emails, and letters.
To ensure that program requirements were fulfilled and were compliant with program policies and procedures, we verified that each case file contained a copy of the referral letter, a case contact log, a case intake form, and a disposition letter to the young adult, and we verified that copies had been provided to the ADA and the police department that initiated the original complaint.
To determine whether VWAP cases were prepared and services were provided in accordance with Section 5 of Chapter 258B of the General Laws, we selected a random, nonstatistical sample of 40 case files from a population of 423 Superior Court cases for the audit period.
We examined the 40 VWAP case files to determine the types of crime and whether required services were provided to victims throughout the court process. Further, we determined whether advocates contacted the victims and witnesses after the alleged crimes.
From MDAO management, we obtained all YADP cases, and Superior Court cases involving victims or witnesses, from the District Attorney Management Information Office Network case management system for the audit period, July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020.
To confirm the completeness and accuracy of the list of YADP cases, we traced a sample of cases from the list to the program case files and selected random files to trace back to the list. In addition, we conducted tests to identify any hidden columns or rows on a spreadsheet of YADP cases to determine the integrity of the information on the list.
To confirm the completeness and accuracy of the list of Superior Court cases involving victims or witnesses, we traced a sample of cases from the list to the case files and selected random files to trace back to the list. In addition, we conducted tests to identify any hidden columns or rows on a spreadsheet of Superior Court cases involving victims or witnesses to determine the integrity of the information on the list.
We determined that the lists were sufficiently reliable for our audit purposes.
Our audit revealed no significant instances of noncompliance that must be reported under generally accepted government auditing standards.
|Date published:||June 17, 2021|