Audit finds contracts authorized by state construction agency failed to meet labor market participation targets for women and minorities

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BostonAn audit released today by the Office of State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump (OSA) found deficiencies in the state’s Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) processes to ensure equal opportunity in the staffing of its contractors for women and the participation of minorities. The audit, which looked at the period from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020, also found that DCAMM’s internal control plan had not been updated with a coronavirus pandemic component as required by the Comptroller’s Office, and that employees’ cybersecurity awareness training certificates were not retained. by DCAMM. This audit is part of a series of performance audits focusing on equitable access and equitable outcomes for services and programs provided by public agencies and their contractors.

“State law and state contracts impose an obligation on contractors to create opportunities for women and non-white people to access these well-paying jobs in the design and construction of public infrastructure. . DCAMM has not been diligent in monitoring and enforcing these requirements. All state agencies must ensure that the jobs we create through state spending provide opportunities for all demographic groups, not just the groups that traditionally hold the positions. I am happy to see that DCAMM is implementing our recommendations in this area; it is important that they remain vigilant and proactive on these issues moving forward.

The audit found that DCAMM did not have sufficient processes in place to effectively monitor its contractors’ compliance with workforce participation targets for women and minorities. According to state guidelines, every construction contract must include labor participation targets of 15.3% of construction labor hours performed by minority workers and 6.9% by women. The audit found that of the 127 construction contracts active during the audit period, 120 (95%) did not meet the target for women’s participation in the workforce, 78 (61 %) had no hours worked by women. Additionally, 81 (64%) of the 127 contracts did not meet the minority workforce participation target, and 36 of them (28%) had no hours worked. by minorities.

The audit also revealed documentation issues at DCAMM. Specifically, the audit found that there were no cybersecurity awareness training certificates on file for any of DCAMM’s 424 active employees in 2019, and issues were identified in the documentation. information in support of DCAMM’s 2020 fiscal year annual report submitted to the state legislature. Additionally, DCAMM’s Internal Control Plan has not been updated with a 2019 coronavirus pandemic component, as required by the Office of the Comptroller’s Internal Controls Guidance issued in September 2020.

To address the issues identified, the audit recommends that DCAMM develop policies and procedures to monitor compliance of its contractors in meeting workforce participation targets for women and men. minorities, update its internal control plan when significant changes occur, and retain cybersecurity awareness training certificates in employee personnel files. . Based on its response, DCAMM is taking steps to resolve these issues.

DCAMM is the state agency responsible for capital planning, construction of public buildings, facilities management and property services for the Commonwealth. It manages more than two billion dollars a year in state-funded construction projects and 550 active leases, including more than five million square feet of office space that houses state agencies. DCAMM received state appropriations of $19,118,113 and $22,603,445, respectively, for fiscal years 2019 and 2020.

Read the full audit here.

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