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Overview of Brockton Area Multi-Services, Inc.

This section describes the makeup and responsibilities of Brockton Area Multi-Services, Inc.

Table of Contents

Overview

Brockton Area Multi-Services, Inc. (BAMSI) was incorporated on March 21, 1975 as South Shore Multi-Services Inc., under Chapter 180 of the Massachusetts General Laws, as a not-for-profit human service organization. On July 9, 1975, it changed its name to Brockton Area Multi-Services, Inc. It was formed for the development, coordination, and delivery of integrated human service programs, and according to its website, its mission is “to empower people and enrich their lives, through compassionate support and diverse services, one individual, one family a time.” During our audit period, BAMSI employed approximately 2,000 people. It operates adult, child, and family services (see Appendix A and Appendix B), assisting approximately 30,000 individuals each year in Worcester, Middlesex, Norfolk, Bristol, and Plymouth Counties.

According to its Uniform Financial Statements and Independent Auditor’s Reports (UFRs),1 during fiscal years 2018 and 2019, BAMSI received $90,964,769 and $95,067,197, respectively, in revenue (see Appendix C for revenue sources).

BAMSI Board of Directors

BAMSI is governed by a board of directors. At the beginning of our audit period, BAMSI’s bylaws required 11 to 15 board members; effective February 21, 2019, they required 6 to 15. During the audit period, the board had 11 to 14 members. The bylaws also require the board to meet monthly, except in July and August, to discuss BAMSI’s mission, strategy, goals, and activities.

BAMSI’s “Selection of New Board Members” policy states,

As Board seats become vacant, new members shall be recruited by networking within the communities that the agency serves or through advertisements as needed.

Potential board members are required to complete an online application via BAMSI’s website and attach a resume.

Before July 2018, BAMSI’s online board member application system generated emails to both BAMSI’s executive assistant and the chairperson of its board of directors’ board affairs committee to notify them when someone had applied. An upgrade in July 2018 caused them both to stop receiving notifications. Since July 2018, BAMSI’s digital communications manager has periodically checked the website for new applications and forwarded them, with attached resumes, to BAMSI’s executive assistant. The assistant forwards qualified applications and resumes to the chairperson of the board affairs committee. After review, the chairperson contacts each applicant for a brief phone interview. During the interview, the chairperson and applicant discuss the BAMSI bylaws’ requirements and the reason for the applicant’s interest in board membership. If the chairperson chooses to advance the application, s/he returns the application and resume to BAMSI’s executive assistant to arrange an in-person interview with the board affairs committee. After the interview, the committee decides whether to recommend a board vote. If it does, it recommends the applicant for approval at the next board meeting. The full board then votes to approve or reject the new board membership. If approved, the applicant is invited to join the board of directors, pending background check results.

Programs

BAMSI operates more than 39 programs for adults, children, and families to support and improve the quality of life for its clients. These programs are classified under Behavioral Health, Developmental/Intellectual Disabilities and Autism Services, Medical/Physical and Brain Injury Services, Public Health and Community Resources, Educational Support and Services, and Family Support Services.

Non-payroll Expenses

Expenses that can be charged to state contracts and reported on UFRs are described in Sections 1.04 and 1.05 of Title 808 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR), which explain recordkeeping and reporting requirements as well as which expenses are unallowable. Section 1.04 requires vendors that contract with the state to maintain all records related to transactions. These records must be reported annually on the UFR. Section 1.05 lists 28 categories of unallowable expenses, which include items such as undocumented expenses, bad debt, taxes, non-program expenses, research, lobbying costs, luxury items, and fundraising expenses.

Executive Management Payroll

Each fiscal year, the state Operational Services Division issues regulatory interpretation of 808 CMR 1.05(24) in a memo titled “Policy Guidance / Regulatory Interpretation of 808 CMR 1.05(24) Salaries of Officers and Managers.” The memo outlines annual salaries that can be charged to state contracts for officers and managers who devote all their time to state programs. For fiscal years 2018 and 2019, the annual salary rates charged to state contracts were not to exceed $178,036.35 and $183,448.93, respectively. The memo for each year of the audit period stated,

Where officers and managers devote less than full time to state programs, the level of reimbursement should be prorated accordingly.

Officers and Managers are defined as: Persons who are responsible for achieving the objectives of the enterprise and who have the authority to establish policies and make decisions by which those objectives are to be pursued. Officers and Managers normally includes members of the board of directors, the chief executive officer [CEO], chief [operations] officer [COO], vice presidents in charge of principal business functions (such as sales, administration, or finance), and other persons who perform similar policymaking functions. Persons without formal titles also may be members of management. In most instances, management of a social service program will include program directors and program managers.

BAMSI is not required to offer severance pay to terminated employees; however, it has an informal severance and separation agreement policy for all levels of employment. The vice president of the Human Resources Department told us that the severance and separation agreement existed as a best practice to avoid future litigation and possible future legal costs. The president and CEO, and/or the COO, determines whether to offer such an agreement.

Hiring of the President and CEO

BAMSI has an executive management succession plan that details actions BAMSI will take to replace its president and CEO if there is an unplanned absence. The plan also states,

The Board of Directors will establish a Search Committee who will make recommendations to the full Board for hiring the final Chief Executive Officer candidate.

In September 2017, the president and CEO announced his retirement as of December 2019. On March 27, 2018, the board hired an outside consulting firm to help search for a new president and CEO. However, on February 25, 2019, the board terminated the consulting contract and created a new search committee of five board members. The board hired a second consulting firm June 14, 2019 to work with the search committee and advise the board during the process. The search committee narrowed the pool of 31 candidates to 5 by matching resumes to required qualifications and conducting phone interviews. It then conducted formal interviews with these 5 candidates and narrowed its list to 3. The then-current president and CEO created a CEO roundtable group, consisting of the chief information officer, chief financial officer, COO, executive vice president of operations, and executive vice president. The group and the consulting firm separately interviewed the top three candidates; then the firm made recommendations to the group, and the group made recommendations to BAMSI’s board of directors. BAMSI’s board held a formal vote on September 19, 2019 to approve the new president and CEO and completed an offer letter on October 29, 2019.

Donations

BAMSI has a Philanthropy and Marketing Department that solicits and accepts donations for BAMSI. BAMSI receives donations electronically through its donor management software, NeonCRM; via mail; in person; and at fundraising events. The Finance Department deposits all donations and records them in BAMSI’s general ledger. Donations received are categorized as restricted or unrestricted. Restricted donations can only be spent on programs or items in accordance with the donors’ instructions; unrestricted donations have no stipulations from donors about how they can be spent. The Philanthropy and Marketing Department’s policy is to send acknowledgment letters to all donors.

1.     Under the state Operational Services Division’s regulations (Section 1 of Title 808 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations), any contractor or subcontractor that has been awarded a contract in excess of $100,000 to provide human and/or social services from a Commonwealth agency is required to file a properly completed UFR annually. These reports contain contractual and financial information prescribed by the Operational Services Division, including audited basic financial statements. 

Date published: June 1, 2021
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