Auditor: Fixing Saugus finances won’t be easy
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
By Matt Tempesta / The Daily Item
Jim Powers of Powers and Sullivan spoke about the
second part of his firm’s
forensic audit with the Saugus Board of Selectmen Tuesday night and said some of theissues uncovered may not be easy to correct
“Some of the things that we found, you might ask, „Why can‟t you just stop thattomorrow?‟” said Powers. “That‟s where labor council comes in. We‟re CPAs. Sometimes
when a situation has been occurring for several years it takes a little time to come undoneand you have to listen to labor counsel to get out of whatever bad practices may have been
Among the issues discussed were stipends, employees paid more than their collectivebargaining rate and salaries being charged to non-salary line items as just seven peopleattended the meeting.
“You shouldn‟t be giving someone more or less funds than they collectively bargained,”said Powers. “That‟s a lot of the violations that we did find.
Sometimes there were reasonsassociated with it and sometimes it was just to make it change.
These types of transactionsviolated laws, regulations, common practice and collective bargaining agreements, andshould not have occurred
Powers said one key to making sure similar violations don‟t occur in the future is to update
town’s antiquated accounting system
“There are all kinds of reporting controls that are available ...” said Powers. “What the
software can do now is leaps and bounds. All the software today has incredible flexibility
and budget controls.”
Town Manager Scott Crabtree said he‟s been in “constant contact” with the Department ofRevenue and labor council to make the proper corrections in the town‟s budget.
an administrative standpoint we‟ve made a lot of these changes to put thesesafeguards in place,” said Crabtree.
Powers said he expects the third part of the audit, which looks into procurement, should befinished by the end of June.