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BAMSI Did Not Ensure That Its Board Member Application Process Was Followed.

From the 27 applications we requested and reviewed, only 20 applicants completed the online application.

Table of Contents

Overview

During our audit period, BAMSI did not always follow the established process for board member applications. Specifically, from the 27 applications we requested and reviewed, only 20 applicants completed the online application; the other 7 submitted their resumes in person or by email without applications. However, BAMSI could not provide a list of all applicants who applied via the portal on its website and did not maintain a log of applicants. Therefore, we cannot confirm that we received an application or resume from everyone who applied for a board position during our audit period. In addition, for 10 of the applicants who were not selected, BAMSI’s board chairperson did not send written notification of the board’s decision. Finally, there was no documentation to substantiate that BAMSI had conducted the required Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI)12 review for one person before the person became an active board member.

Without a log of applicants, the board affairs committee may not be aware of all potential applicants and may not choose the applicants best suited for a board seat. In addition, applicants who did not receive notification letters would not know why they had not been accepted. Finally, without performing background checks before applicants become active board members, BAMSI may appoint a board member with a criminal record.

Authoritative Guidance

Section 2 of Article VIII of BAMSI’s bylaws from December 15, 2016; September 20, 2018; and February 21, 2019 states,

a.   Interested candidates for board membership are required to complete an online application and attach a resume. . . .

c.    If the candidate is accepted following the vote, then the Board will send a letter to the candidate with an invitation to join the Board pending an acceptable CORI (Criminal Offense Record Information) check.

The board’s “Policy for Selection of a New Board Member,” dated December 15, 2016, states,

9.   If approved by a majority vote, the candidate shall be informed . . . of the Board’s decision pending the passing of a CORI review.

10. The newly approved board member shall be asked to attend the next board meeting after the CORI is approved.

11. If the candidate is not approved, the Chairperson of the Board Affairs Committee shall inform him/her of the Board’s decision in writing.

Reasons for Noncompliance

BAMSI officials told us that there had been an update to the website software BAMSI uses to accept board member applications and it no longer alerted the chairperson of the board affairs committee when someone applied. Because of staff turnover in its Information Technology Department, BAMSI overlooked resolving this issue. BAMSI officials told us that the system could not print a list of everyone who applied online and no one retained a log of all applicants. Additionally, BAMSI does not have a procedure in place to document written notification of the board’s decision about an application. Finally, BAMSI officials told us it was an oversight that no CORI review had been performed for a new board member.

Recommendations

  1. BAMSI should develop and implement a procedure to ensure that all applicants complete applications, should document the notification of rejections sent to rejected applicants, and should perform CORI reviews before newly appointed board members attend meetings.
  2. BAMSI should update its board application website software to ensure that the software notifies the chairperson of the board affairs committee when an application is received.
  3. BAMSI should maintain a log of applicants to ensure that the board affairs committee has received all applications.

Auditee’s Response

BAMSI has instituted new policies [and] procedures for interviewing potential new board members, onboarding new board members and the resignation of current board members. Some of these procedures include the formation of a Board Affairs Committee as well as a Board Interview Committee. Also included in the procedures are CORI checks for potential new members as well as the creation of an information package providing new members with pertinent information pertaining to BAMSI. Once selected, new Board members are required to attend an orientation provided by the Board Chairperson and a member of BAMSI staff and sign an affirmation of BAMSI Board Code of Ethics as well as a disclosure of any conflicts of interest they may have. All documentation pertaining to all Board applicants will [be] maintained at BAMSI, whether the applicant is accepted or not.

Auditor’s Reply

Based on its response, BAMSI is taking measures to address our concerns in this area: it is implementing procedures for the board application process and has updated its application software. We recommend that BAMSI maintain a log of applicants to ensure that the board affairs committee has received all applications.

12.     A CORI review is a search of Massachusetts court records to determine whether a person has a possible criminal record. It is performed by the Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services.

Date published: June 1, 2021
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