Press Release

Press Release $39.6 Million In Potential Savings Associated With Audit Recommendations

The reports are part of an accountability initiative introduced in 2011 to monitor how audited agencies are acting on her recommendations.
For immediate release:
9/25/2012
  • Office of State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump

Media Contact

Mike Wessler, Communications Director

Boston — Today State Auditor Suzanne Bump released a summary of post-audit accountability reports from the third and fourth quarters of FY12, which show select audit work that has the potential to produce $39.6 million in fiscal benefit for the Commonwealth. The reports are part of an accountability initiative introduced in 2011 to monitor how audited agencies are acting on her recommendations. Since the initiative’s introduction, the reports have identified $52.4 million in potential savings.   

“The public expects the agencies and vendors that we audit to take action on our recommendations and findings,” said Auditor Bump. “These reports demonstrate how our audits save taxpayer dollars. I applaud the auditees for their responsive actions.  Together we are making government work better.”

Post-audit review surveys are issued six months after the release of an audit with findings of financial or operation deficiencies. Today’s reports give a progress update on 40 post-audit reviews out of 41 audits conducted. Actions taken by agencies range from operational changes to recoveries of improper payments to vendors.

Among the actions reported are:

  • The Probation Department has developed new policies and training for determining indigency verification for those seeking state-sponsored legal counsel and after conducting virtually no verifications of those assigned counsel, has conducted nearly 74,000 indigency verifications at District and Boston Municipal Courts for an estimated cost savings of $1.8 million to date.
  • MassHealth initiated recoupment of $253,519 in unallowable billings and terminated the orthodontic specialty assigned to SmileCenter, a sole proprietor dental provider located in Plymouth. Additionally, MassHealth is working with its dental plan administrator to conduct a full audit of SmileCenter’s billings, to review regulations, and to strengthen system edits.
  • The Berkshire Sheriff’s Office reduced its compensatory time obligations by over $100,000 by reviewing and updating its policies as recommended.
  • A number of agencies are pursuing up to $31.1 million in recommended recoveries from the Merrimack Special Education Collaborative (MSEC), resulting from $21.2 million in improper related-party transactions, a questionable $5.5 million settlement agreement with its related non-profit and $4.3 million from questionable program and credit card expenses and improper fiscal conduit payments. MSEC also separated itself from its related non-profit, leading to a renegotiation of facility leases and maintenance, saving over $1.3 million.

Post-audit reviews are self-reported information that is unaudited. The Office of The State Auditor (OSA) makes no claims as to the accuracy of the information. Since it is subject to future audits and public disclosure, it is in an auditee’s best interest to provide the OSA with forthright and accurate responses.

The Post-Audit Review Surveys Third Quarter Report - FY2012 is available here.

The Post-Audit Review Surveys Fourth Quarter Report - FY2012 is available here.

 

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Media Contact

Office of State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump 

The Office of State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump (OSA) conducts audits, investigations, and studies to promote accountability and transparency, improve performance, and make government work better.

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