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Financial Compliance and Quality Assurance

The Operational Services Division (OSD) Office of Financial Compliance and Quality Assurance supports contracted vendors and departments in achieving and maintaining compliance with state regulation 801 CMR 21.00.

The Financial Compliance and Quality Assurance Office has oversight responsibility pursuant to 808 CMR 1.00 for contract compliance, financial reporting and auditing applicable to all procurements of Human and Social Services. The Uniform Financial Statements and Independent Auditor’s Report (UFR) is the set of financial statements and schedules required of human and social service organizations that deliver human and social services via contracts with state departments.

 

Quality Assurance Reviews Questions and Answers

Quality Assurance (QA) conducts reviews of the procurement practices of 66 level III Executive Agencies (the Agencies) in achieving and maintaining compliance under procurement regulation 801 CMR 21.00, Operational Services Division (OSD) Procurement Policies, and COMMBUYS Policy for Purchasing Organizations.  QA reviews set a foundation for interaction and support from the Agencies by establishing an open means of communication between QA and the Agencies.

  1. What categories are looked at during a QA review?
    The following categories are reviewed:
    o Transactions Testing
          o MMARS encumbrance transactions testing
          o COMMBUYS purchase order transactions testing
    o Procurement Exceptions
          o Legislative exemption
          o Emergency contracts
          o Collective purchases
          o Interim contracts 
          o Incidental purchases (up to $10,000)
          o Contract employees
    o Statewide Contracts Utilization
    o Procurement File Management
          o Electronic responses requirement
          o Minimum quote requirement
          o Statewide contracts
          o Non-statewide/departmental contracts
                  o SDP (large procurements)
                  o SBPP (small procurements)
     
  2. What determines if an onsite QA review is needed?

    The need for an onsite QA review is determined on a case by case basis, subject to the approval of the Director of Financial Compliance.
     
  3. How is it determined which agency will be reviewed?

    At the beginning of each fiscal year, OSD’s Quality Assurance unit will identify agencies to be reviewed, based on several factors such as:
         o Special requests or non-compliance issues brought to the attention of OSD
         o Time since last QA review
         o New agencies
     
  4. May Agencies make special requests for reviews?

    Reviews outside of the established schedule are possible if a request is made.
     
  5. How are Agencies made aware that they are undergoing a QA Review?

    An Agency’s Chief Fiscal Officer will be contacted by a QA Auditor with an introductory email and a Planning Questionnaire.
     
  6. Where is the data for reviews obtained?

    Information and data used during a QA review comes from COMMBUYS and the Massachusetts Management Accounting and Reporting System (MMARS).
     
  7. If our Agency’s funds are primarily budgeted for goods and services that are not available on Statewide Contract, will we be penalized?

    Each review is conducted on a case by case basis. When reviewing transactions, the QA Auditor will consider the goods procured and determine whether or not they are available on Statewide Contracts.

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