Friday, November 5, 2010

Another Agency Worth Knowing - Mass Inspector General

 From their website:
"The Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General is a state watchdog agency. The Office has a broad mandate to prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse in government. The Office conducts operational and management reviews, analyzes legislation and regulations, provides technical assistance, and conducts civil and criminal investigations. The Office has established a confidential toll-free hotline number -- 800-322-1323 -- and invites calls to report suspected fraud, waste, or abuse in government."

The Massachusetts Inspector General's office is responsible for conducting investigations involving fraud, waste, and abuse of funds and materials in issues regarding the use of public funds. We question, at the very least, if the salary issues related specifically to the 'Konnected' individuals at MVRCS would fall under this agency. We do know that Chris Finn in his role as Business Manager was required to take a course (which the school paid for) covering the laws of procurement that regulate the schools purchases. Since Chris Finn is no longer in that position does that require Mr. Veilleux to complete the same course? We would be interested in knowing if all of the contract work (especially the camera security system) was required to be put out for bid and if so, if the bid was conducted in accordance with the laws. We also feel that the Inspector General's office might be an agency that we want to familiarize ourselves with a bit more as the school begins the building of the Athletic Facility. Here is some basic information regarding this agency but we'll be providing more as we continue our efforts to completely understand the laws governing fraud, waste, and abuse of funds and materials. If nothing else, we do believe that overpaying family members and friends and/or the creation of positions for the same, would be considered abuse of public funds.We've included contact information (should any of you decide to contact them yourselves), a brief description of Chapter 30B (just one of the laws), and a brief history of the Inspector General's Office.

You may contact the Office by telephone, email or mail.
The Office's telephone numbers are: Office: 617-727-9140; Fax: 617-723-2334; Chapter 30B Line: 617-722-8838
The Office's email address is:

[Note regarding Chapter 30B and email: Although you may submit questions or information by email, the Office does not issue email acknowledgments or responses. If you would like to receive either, please include a telephone number where you can be reached and, if appropriate, the Office can provide a verbal acknowledgment or response.]
The Office's mailing address is:

     Office of the Inspector General
     John W. McCormack State Office Building
     One Ashburton Place, Room 1311
     Chapter 30B
Enacted in 1990, Chapter 30B of the Massachusetts General Laws, the Uniform Procurement Act, establishes uniform procedures for local governments to use when contracting for supplies, services, and real property. Approximately 1,500 local governmental jurisdictions in Massachusetts (cities, towns, counties, districts, regional school districts, and local authorities, including housing and redevelopment authorities) follow the procedures to award contracts worth billions of dollars each year.

Section 1. (a) This chapter shall apply to every contract for the procurement of supplies, services or real property and for disposing of supplies or real property by a governmental body as defined herein.

Brief History
The Office was established in 1981 as the first statewide inspector general's office in the country. It was created in the wake of a major construction procurement scandal. In 1980, the Special Commission Concerning State and County Buildings (usually referred to as the "Ward Commission" after its Chairman, John William Ward) released its final report on corruption in the award of state and county building projects. The Commission found that billions of dollars had been wasted on building projects. The 12-volume Ward Commission Report concluded that:
  • Corruption was a way of life in the Commonwealth.
  • Political influence, not professional performance, was the prime criterion in doing business with the state.
  • Shoddy work and debased standards were the norm.
Creation of the Office was seen as part of the solution, not just to the problem in public building contracting, but also to a more fundamental problem. The Commission noted that it was formed approximately one decade after the State Crime Commission completed its work in the mid-1960s. The Commission believed that periodic investigation by special commissions was not a good approach to dealing with problems:
If public life relies upon spasmodic outrage to create special commissions to correct the ills of public life, then public life is in dire shape, indeed. That is why the Special Commission created the Office of the Inspector General, to build the capacity for self-correction into government itself . . . . [Emphasis added.]
The Commission noted that the state did have an Attorney General and a State Auditor, but it found a "vast middle ground". . .
between the ability to review all state transactions to a limited degree without the power to investigate [i.e., the Auditor], and the power to investigate allegations of fraud on a case-by-case basis [i.e., the Attorney General]. . . .
Allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse in the award or conduct of state supply and service contracts may be directed to the Office of the Inspector General by calling 617-727-9140 or by calling the Office's 24-hour hotline number: 800-322-1323


  1. All these government agencies are getting quite confusing. I hardly know who I need to call or why I'm calling! Just so we're clear, is this a number I can just keep by my nightstand or should I have it on speed dial in case of an all out emergency?

  2. Andrew -
    This one should probably be on speed dial considering all the waste, fraud, and abuse of fiances within MVRCS. This one also draws in the other agencies once they discover wrongdoing. Are we clear now? j/k