- Office of the State Auditor
Media Contact for Audit Leads to Improved Compliance with the Open Meeting and Conflict of Interest Laws at Commission on the Status of Women
Mike Wessler, Communications Director
Boston — The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW) reports it has improved its compliance with aspects of the Open Meeting and Conflict of Interest laws in response to an audit by State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump. The audit found that the organization did not ensure commissioners acknowledged their responsibilities under the Open Meeting Law and did not ensure they completed a required training on conflicts of interest. The audit examined the period of July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019.
“The Commission on the Status of Women plays an instrumental role in ensuring that women have an equal voice throughout the Commonwealth. This audit provided recommendations to the commission to improve its processes and ensure that all of its commissioners understand and acknowledge their responsibilities under the state’s Conflict of Interest and Open Meeting Laws,” Bump said of the audit. “I commend them for taking these matters seriously and for acting on our recommendations.”
The audit found the commission did not have certificates from 16 of its 30 commissioners acknowledging that they received, read, and understand the state’s Open Meeting Law and their responsibilities under it. Additionally, Bump found MCSW could not substantiate that 9 of the 30 commissioners completed the required Conflict of Interest Law training. In both instances, MCSW indicated it has taken action to begin implementing Bump’s recommendations to address the issues.
MCSW was established as an independent agency that operates under the direction of a 19-member board of commissioners, each serving three-year terms. The commission is responsible for providing women and girls with a permanent and effective voice across Massachusetts. In addition, there are 11 regional commissions representing Berkshire County, Bristol County, Cape and Islands, Eastern Regional, Essex County, Hampden County, Hampshire-Franklin, MetroWest, Plymouth County, Upper Middlesex, and Worcester County.