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

An explanation of what the audit of the transportation authority examined and how it was conducted.

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 Montachusett regional Transit Authority (MART) 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 MART 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 MART 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 MART properly manage the use of its non-revenue-producing vehicles?

No; see Finding 2

To achieve our audit objectives, we gained an understanding of the MART 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 CFA software maintained by MART, which documents all vehicle fleet maintenance and repairs, to determine whether all vehicles used and vehicle maintenance performed during the audit period were recorded in the database.
  • We verified that MART 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 MART followed specific vehicles’ manufacturer guidelines and the required FTA preventive maintenance guidelines.
  • We extracted from the CFA software a fleet inventory list and maintenance records. We used original maintenance work orders, as well as copies, as evidence to verify the information in the CFA software–generated report. We reviewed a statistical random sample of 30 of the 1,433 work orders for non-revenue-producing vehicles, using a 95% confidence level and a 10% tolerable error rate, which we compared to the data in the CFA software.
  • We reviewed a statistical sample of 40 out of 10,133 work orders for revenue-producing vehicles, using a 95% confidence level and a 10% tolerable error rate, which we compared to the data in the CFA software. We verified attributes of the work orders pertaining to the maintenance work performed and maintenance costs.
  • We asked MART management about the use of non-revenue-producing vehicles and the process of lending a non-revenue-producing vehicle from the motor pool.
  • We requested the sign-in/sign-out log for non-revenue-producing vehicles.
  • We asked MART management whether the keys to non-revenue-producing vehicles were in the possession of the general manager of Management Transportation Systems, Incorporated or MART personnel or were left in the vehicles.
  • We examined the state’s publicly available, searchable website, as well as MART’s website, to determine whether they included data for MART expenditures, including payroll, to ensure transparency regarding the agency’s spending.

We analyzed CFA software data by performing validity and integrity tests, including testing for missing data and scanning for duplicate records. We performed a source documentation review of the original hardcopy work orders to determine whether they matched the information in the CFA software. We determined that the data from this system were sufficiently reliable for the purposes of our audit.

Date published: July 11, 2018
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