Audit of the Office of the Governor Overview of Audited Entity

This section describes the makeup and responsibilities of the Office of the Governor.

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The Office of the Governor (GOV) was established under Section I of Chapter II of the Constitution of the Commonwealth. It consists of the Offices of the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor, both of whom are elected by popular vote every four years. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor oversee a cabinet consisting of the Secretaries of Administration and Finance, Education, Energy and Environmental Affairs, Health and Human Services, Housing and Economic Development, Labor and Workforce Development, Public Safety and Security, and Transportation. Each Secretary is appointed by the Governor and is responsible for overseeing the activities of the executive departments and other agencies within the secretariat. GOV sets policy for implementation by all cabinet secretariats, agencies, offices, commissions, boards, and other entities within the state executive department to achieve GOV’s mission.

According to its internal control plan,

The Office of the Governor is committed to making Massachusetts a truly great place for all individuals to live, work, start a business, raise a family, and reach their full potential. It will work toward a growing economy with family-sustaining jobs; ensure that schools across the Commonwealth provide opportunity for every child regardless of zip code; improve the delivery of state services; and make Beacon Hill a true partner with our local governments to create safer and thriving communities across Massachusetts.

GOV makes appointments to more than 700 boards and commissions in the Commonwealth. Each state board’s or commission’s enabling legislation describes the Governor’s responsibility and authority to make appointments to it.

For fiscal years 2019 and 2020, GOV’s state appropriations were $5,251,345 and $5,751,345, respectively.

Boards and Commissions Office

GOV’s Boards and Commissions Office (BCO) has existed since approximately 1991. It oversees appointments of appropriate and qualified candidates to all Commonwealth executive branch boards and commissions. BCO regularly interacts with citizens across the Commonwealth to assess and recruit qualified and committed candidates to serve on state boards and commissions. Since approximately 2005, BCO has used the Intranet Quorum (IQ) database, a data tracking software product from Leidos Digital Solutions, Inc., to manage the appointments of each seat on each state board or commission. During our audit period, BCO was staffed by a director and three other staff members.

Typically, BCO is notified of a citizen’s request to be appointed to a state board or commission by phone, email, or the GOV website. Boards and commissions also notify BCO if the Governor needs to make an appointment. According to BCO personnel, when the Governor appoints someone to a board or commission, the following steps are taken to track the appointment:

  • BCO notifies the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth and the Office of the Comptroller of the Commonwealth of the appointment by sending both offices a copy of the appointment letter signed by the Governor.
  • BCO notifies the relevant board or commission by sending it a copy of the appointment letter signed by the Governor.
  • BCO creates a record of the appointment in IQ.

Through recruitment procedures implemented by BCO, GOV seeks to ensure that appointees to the Commonwealth’s boards and commissions are qualified and diverse. On February 17, 2011, the then-Governor signed Executive Order 526, which reaffirmed the Commonwealth’s commitment to civil rights and provided for transgender people to have equal access to executive branch employment and programs. The order, which covers state boards and commissions, states,

Non-discrimination, diversity, and equal opportunity shall be the policy of the Executive Branch of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in all aspects of state employment, programs, services, activities, and decisions.

Through BCO, GOV also measures diversity in appointments to state boards and commissions. During our audit period, BCO set internal goals for at least 50% of its appointees to be female and at least 20 to 25% of appointments to be made to diverse candidates.1

1.     According to the Diversity Spreadsheet GOV uses to track the diversity of board and commission appointees, GOV considers an appointment diverse if the appointee identifies as being “Black, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American”; being a veteran; having a disability; or being “[lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender].”

Date published: September 23, 2021