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Boston — State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump today released an audit of North Shore Community Action Programs, Inc. (NSCAP), a human services provider serving 26 cities and towns on the North Shore. The audit found that NSCAP improperly used thousands of dollars in state funds to provide management services for a Beverly non-profit, which NSCAP partnered with to provide emergency shelter for homeless men. Today’s audit report found that the fee charged by the River House shelter does not fully cover the cost of services NSCAP provides. Instead, NSCAP made up for the difference with funds from other state contracts, which violates state regulations. Furthermore, NSCAP was owed over $66,000 in outstanding fees from River House.
“This partnership provides important services to low income and homeless residents on the North Shore,” said Auditor Bump. "In the case of River House, NSCAP says it was trying to meet a legitimate community need, but they did so without authorization and failed to properly account for state funds. Additionally the audit found other finance and governance issues which must be addressed."
The audit called on NSCAP to improve its accounting procedures to address questionable allocations of at least $627,092 in indirect costs, such as, salaries and property expenses. Auditors also noted that NSCAP did not have written procedures for calculating indirect costs, nor did it receive state approval to conduct such calculations, and found $86,765 in improperly documented expenses and $5,200 in benefits for an employee that was not reported to state and federal tax agencies as taxable earnings.
In addition, the audit determined that NSCAP lacked written policies and procedures for procuring services and awarded tens of thousands of dollars in contracts without putting them out to bid as required by the state. A competitive bidding process helps assure agencies are getting the best services at the lowest possible cost.
Among other findings, NSCAP’s Board of Directors did not contain the minimum number of members or adhere to attendance requirements contained in the agency’s by-laws.
The North Shore Community Action Programs audit is available here.