How We Fix It

Problem: The Auditor is not doing her job!

How Dan Fishman will fix it

From Massachusetts General Laws, Part I, Title II, Chapter 11, Section 12

"...the department may require the production of books, documents, vouchers and other records relating to any matter within the scope of an audit conducted under this section entity shall be subject to audit as often as the state auditor determines it necessary. "

Every time there is a debit or a credit to an agency bank account an electronic record is created.  These records can be decorated when created with as much information at the auditor thinks necessary, such as what was the purpose of the expenditure, what category it fell into, who authorized it.  Some of this information is currently stored in the C-Thru system.

Recorded properly, this metadata creates the framework for a comprehensive audit.  Based on the MGL above, the Auditor can insist that this data be provided real time and implement technological solutions to collect all information immediately. This prevents ex post facto adjustments of numbers that might cover missing records or fraud.

A comprehensive audit also requires inventory of physical assets as well that are more difficult to account for electronically -- but not impossible.  Every physical asset can be given an electronic record and then it's status can be reported electronically and every asset's status will be available to make sure that we are indeed auditing the agency once every 3 years.

Every record should be published online.  As an example, citizen ought to be able to find out easily how much money the state spent on ammunition across all agencies, as well as how many guns the state owns and where they are.  How many vehicles does the state own? How much do we spend on fuel every week?

And the system should police itself.  It wasn't until Boston media researched the information that it was discovered that 19 "quasi state agencies" were not submitting payroll data, as they were required to by law.  Automation solves these problems by sending alerts whenever any required data is missing.

Humans are biased and owe debts to political parties.  Impartial machines running the beginning of audits will make the various state agencies much more responsive and responsible.  It's time to get the politics out of the State Auditor's office

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