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OIG Annual Report 2019: About the Office

Part II of the Office of the Inspector General's 2019 Annual Report

The Office of the Inspector General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (“Office”) is an independent agency charged with preventing and detecting fraud, waste and abuse in the use of public funds and public property.

Download the PDF version of the full OIG 2019 annual report.

Table of Contents

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Overview

To fulfill its broad statutory mandate, the Office investigates allegations of fraud, waste and abuse at all levels of government and reviews programs and practices in state and local agencies to identify vulnerabilities and opportunities for improvement. Beyond investigations, the Office provides education to help prevent fraud, waste and abuse in government spending. It offers personalized guidance to local government officials on issues that arise under the Uniform Procurement Act, M.G.L. c. 30B (“Chapter 30B”), which governs the purchase and disposition of supplies, services, equipment and real property by municipalities and other public entities. The Office also educates public and private employees through its Massachusetts Certified Public Purchasing Official (“MCPPO”) training program.

When conducting an investigation or review, the Office has the authority to subpoena records, interview witnesses and take testimony under oath. At the completion of an investigation, review or other project, the Office may issue a letter or report detailing findings and outlining recommendations to prevent future fraud, waste and abuse. In some instances, the Office will offer training, policy guidance or technical assistance. In other cases, the Office may require the agency, city or town to submit a corrective action plan detailing the measures it will take to address the problems identified during the Office’s investigation.

Further, the Office reports suspected criminal activity to the appropriate authorities, including the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In addition, the Inspector General meets regularly with the Inspector General Council to discuss the Office’s activities.

The Office is organized into eight divisions:

  • Administration and Finance
  • Audit, Oversight and Investigations
  • The Bureau of Program Integrity
  • The Division of State Police Oversight
  • The Internal Special Audit Unit
  • Legal
  • Policy and Government
  • Regulatory and Compliance
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Administration and Finance Division

The Administration and Finance Division provides vital support to the entire Office by managing:

  • Finances
  • Human resources
  • Case management system
  • Information technology
  • Operations
  • Procurement

Audit, Oversight and Investigations Division

The Audit, Oversight and Investigations Division (“AOI Division”) investigates allegations of criminal and civil misconduct in the use of public funds. When an investigation reveals potential criminal conduct, the AOI Division often works closely with other law enforcement agencies – such as the FBI, the state police, federal inspectors general and local police departments – as well as with prosecutorial agencies, including the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and local district attorneys’ offices.

Further, the AOI Division works on matters involving potential civil actions, either directly with the affected municipality or in conjunction with the Attorney General’s Office. The AOI Division also alerts the State Ethics Commission to potential ethics violations, such as self-dealing and the receipt of unwarranted privileges.

At any given time, the AOI Division may be investigating allegations of public corruption or other wrongdoing in a wide array of public sectors, such as administration, education, housing, municipal and county programs, public benefits, public land and public safety.

Additionally, the AOI Division works to prevent and detect fraud, waste and abuse by:

  • Conducting large systemic reviews
  • Proposing legislative and regulatory changes
  • Recommending improvements to internal and financial controls in the expenditure of public funds

The AOI Division also issues public advisories and letters to help state and local governments reduce fraud, waste and abuse.

Bureau of Program Integrity

The Bureau of Program Integrity (“Bureau”) focuses on promoting quality, integrity and efficiency within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (“EOHHS”) and its agencies.

In this role, the Bureau is responsible for preventing, detecting and correcting fraud, waste and abuse in benefits programs through:

  • Investigations
  • Performance audits and reviews
  • Consultation and collaboration with EOHHS agencies

Division of State Police Oversight

The Division of State Police Oversight1 (“DSPO”) monitors the quality, efficiency and integrity of the Massachusetts State Police’s (“MSP”) operations, organizational structure and management functions.

Additionally, DSPO seeks to prevent, detect and correct fraud, waste and abuse in the expenditure of public funds and monitors policy changes instituted as a result of the MSP’s certification or accreditation by a state or national police accrediting agency pursuant to M.G.L. c. 22C, § 73.

Internal Special Audit Unit

The Internal Special Audit Unit (“ISAU”) monitors the quality, efficiency and integrity of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (“MassDOT”) operating and capital programs. Additionally, the ISAU provides oversight of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

As part of its statutory mandate, the ISAU seeks to prevent, detect and correct fraud, waste and abuse in the expenditure of public and private transportation funds. The ISAU is also responsible for examining and evaluating MassDOT’s operations, including its governance, risk-management practices and internal processes.

Legal Division

The Legal Division provides essential legal advice to the Office and manages legal strategy in all Office litigation. Attorneys in the Legal Division:

  • Represent the Office in state and federal court
  • Draft and review legislation
  • Teach procurement law
  • Provide guidance on public procurement matters to state and local officials

Attorneys in the Legal Division also assist the Office’s investigatory divisions by:

  • Taking testimony
  • Analyzing evidence
  • Conducting legal research
  • Coordinating responses to and enforcing summonses
  • Liaising with state, municipal and private entities on legal issues that may arise during an investigation or review

Attorneys in the Legal Division’s Civil Recovery Unit investigate and develop matters for potential civil recovery pursuant to M.G.L. c. 12A, § 11. These attorneys work closely with the other investigative units within the Office, frequently partnering on investigations that may be appropriate for civil recovery.

The Civil Recovery Unit also works closely with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office when developing matters for litigation or preparing for settlement.

Policy and Government Division

The Policy and Government Division (“P&G Division”) oversees the Office’s policy, healthcare and legislative initiatives. The P&G Division is responsible for carrying out the legislature’s annual mandate for the Office to study and review the Massachusetts Medicaid and Health Safety Net programs. The P&G Division also reviews programs and practices in state and local agencies to identify system-wide vulnerabilities and opportunities for improvement.

In addition, the P&G Division helps develop policies and procedures related to the Commonwealth’s public design and construction laws. The P&G Division works with state agencies and authorities throughout the Commonwealth to establish best practices in public construction. Each year, the P&G Division reviews public design and construction projects, methods and  practices, as well as public real property transactions, to ensure that the public’s interests are protected.

Finally, during each legislative session, the P&G Division reviews and comments on numerous pieces of legislation, meets with and provides guidance to legislators and municipalities, and responds to requests from the Governor’s Office to review proposed legislation before it is signed into law.

Regulatory and Compliance Division

The Regulatory and Compliance Division (“R&C Division”) leads the Office’s educational initiatives, including the Massachusetts Certified Public Purchasing Official (“MCPPO”) training program, and provides guidance on public procurement matters to state and local officials.

In Massachusetts, public purchasing officials are responsible for procuring the supplies, services and facilities needed to provide public services to their communities. These procurements involve considerable expenditures of public funds. As a result, it is vital that state and local officials understand procurement processes and comply with all applicable legal requirements.

To meet this vital need, the R&C Division provides training and professional development through the MCPPO training program, which provides a wide range of classes concerning good government, including:

  • Public procurement
  • Internal controls
  • Board governance
  • Contract administration
  • Fraud prevention

Other state agencies furnish valuable contributions to the program, including speakers and instructors on specialized topics.

The R&C Division also publishes manuals, advisories and the OIG Bulletin (formerly the Procurement Bulletin).

To further assist state and local officials, the R&C Division offers a hotline where staff respond to inquiries and complaints concerning the public procurement of supplies, equipment, services and real estate in accordance with the Uniform Procurement Act, M.G.L. c. 30B (“Chapter 30B”). The R&C Division also interprets and formulates policies on Chapter 30B.

The R&C Division also offers trainings to assist architects and owner’s project representatives comply with Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”) regulations. This helps ensure that the professionals involved with school design and construction in Massachusetts are familiar with applicable procurement and construction law and MSBA requirements.

The R&C Division also provides trainings for and offers certificates to Massachusetts Charter Schools as required by Chapter 46 of the Acts of 1997.

Additional Resources

1) M.G.L. c. 22C, § 72, refers to the Division as “an internal special audit unit.” The Inspector General renamed the Division to avoid confusion with the previously created Internal Special Audit Unit within the Department of Transportation (see M.G.L. c. 6C, § 9).

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