Hungrypirana is correct. The audit only looked at the computer controls over the system that PROCESSES that transactions.
The audit doesn’t opine on the $2.6 billion spending.
The audit was designed to test internal controls within the Department of Transportation – Secretary’s Office, that were not tested as part of other audits performed by the Legislative auditor.
The auditors examined the Secretary’s central maintenance, database, and security controls surrounding FMIS; not the complementary controls residing outside the Secretary’s office or within the Office of Transportation Technology Services.
Most of the testing appears to be within the ADPICS and R*STARS components of FMIS.
The scope of the audit included testing transactions, but such testing probably was done to verify whether controls were working, rather than to verify that amounts recorded were correct and complete.
$2.6 billion transportation audit finds no problems; BPW heaps praise on departing secretary
May 04, 2012 Maryland Reporter.com
Many audits of state agencies find wasted dollars, poor accounting controls, lax purchasing measures and even occasional fraud; so it’s worth pointing out that legislative auditors reviewing $2.6 billion of spending that went through the transportation secretary’s office found absolutely nothing.
“Our audit did not disclose any significant deficiencies in the design or operation of the department’s internal control,” said the auditors report. “Nor did our audit disclose any significant instances of noncompliance with applicable laws, rules or regulations.” The financial management information system supports the department’s purchasing, accounting and payment functions.
Transportation Secretary Beverley Swaim-Staley at opening of Intercounty Connector November 2011. (Photo by govpics)
The good news comes as Transportation Secretary Beverley Swaim-Staley announced she’s leaving the post July 1, after almost three years in the job. Transportation is one of largest departments in state government with 9,000 employees in five modal agencies with an annual budget of $3.8 million.
Swaim-Staley has had her share of critical audits of agencies including the Mass Transit Administration and the State Highway Administration, but she’s had her share of successes, including the opening of the Intercounty Connector last year.
Comptroller Peter Franchot praised her effusively for several minutes at Wednesday’s Board of Public Works meeting. “For my money, there’s never been anyone better than Bev Staley,” said Franchot, who as a delegate chaired the transportation appropriations subcommittee. “She was always looking for ways to save taxpayer dollars” and had “unassailable integrity.”
Treasurer Nancy Kopp chimed in to “endorse everything the comptroller said,” and Gov. Martin O’Malley joined the chorus of praise.
O’Malley singled out “one very momentous, final accomplishment” for Swaim-Staley – getting “the treasurer and governor to applaud unanimously every word of something the comptroller has said.”
The room burst into laughter and Franchot grinned. The comptroller is often the lone voice of dissent on O’Malley administration contracts, as he would be later that morning at the same meeting.
“That [unanimity] has never happened before and I will be preparing a proclamation to honor the occasion,” O’Malley joked. Franchot actually sides with O’Malley 95% of the time.
Swaim-Staley accepted the praise on a realistic note, pointing out she still had several board meetings to go. “I’m sure we’ll have problems to resolve in the next couple of months,” she said.
“I’ve worked for the state since I was 20 years old and I wouldn’t change a thing,” Swaim-Staley said. “Some of you raised me, let’s be honest.”
Public safety radio contract causes static over minority contracting May 23, 2012 By Dana Amihere
Contracts over a statewide wireless radio network for first responders produced a heated debate before the Board of Public Works Wednesday, causing the award to be delayed for two weeks.
Motorola was hired to provide radio equipment, installation and maintenance services for the $485 million system to be built in five phases. It’s interoperatability is intended to prevent communication failures between police and firefighters, said Elliot Schlanger, secretary of information technology.
“Motorola’s hitting it out of the park,” Schlanger said.
“The only thing that’s going to be hit out of the ballpark is the taxpayers when they begin to understand what we’ve gotten into here,” said Comptroller Peter Franchot. “We’re going to be paying $8,000 for radios Motorola makes?”
Franchot reminded the governor and state treasurer who also serve on the board that Motorola was contracted for $44 million more than a Maryland company had said it could do the job.
“When we purchase these radios let me suggest that they’ll be about three, four, five times what we would’ve paid under the other contractor,” Franchot said.
Advocates for minority contractors also found fault with Motorola’s procurement.
“I’m offended how they’ve computed the [minority business enterprise goal],” said Maryland Minority Business Association president Arnold M. Jolivet II.
Motorola’s contract stipulates 12% MBE participation, but this percentage doesn’t include some subcontractors who may install or service the two-way radios later, and is actually more like 27%, Motorola said.
The contested portion of the contract only makes up a “sliver” of the overall project, said Schlanger.
“One person’s sliver may be another small company’s survival,” said Comptroller Peter Franchot, while Gov. Martin O’Malley and Treasurer Nancy Kopp remained mostly mum on the issue.
In order to be considered as a contractor, MBEs must be certified by both the state and Motorola. As of today, only one MBE is certified by both. But Jolivet said other MBEs are doing the same work in Prince George’s, Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Howard counties and Baltimore City.
“There’s no evidence to suggest that (they) couldn’t work at the state level too,” Jolivet said.
“It’s a destructive policy.”
After several rounds of discussion on whether the MBE percentage deserved reconsideration or approval as written, the board agreed to table the issue two weeks to give Motorola and the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs time to confer.
According to Lance Lucas of the Greater Baltimore Black Chamber of Commerce, “We just want to make sure minority businesses get a fair shake.”
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