EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE VALLEY PATRIOT
By: State Auditor Diana DiZoglio – (05-23)
Being a senior citizen in Massachusetts should be especially fulfilling, as our Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) operates with a core mission to “develop, implement, and evaluate innovative programs to promote the independence, empowerment, and well-being of older adults, individuals with disabilities, and their caregivers.”
Unfortunately, that mission hasn’t always aligned with reality, to the detriment of our senior population.
My office recently completed and released an audit report of EOEA. This audit followed up on deficiencies found in a 2018 audit completed under the previous administration.
When completing this 2-year review, I was disappointed to find that EOEA had still not followed through on making the recommended improvements to support our elders – despite claiming otherwise.
Our most recent findings show they have not been performing monthly checks of the Adult Protective Services’ system.
This failure means EOEA is unable to ensure all incidents of alleged elder abuse are properly referred to District Attorneys’ offices, as required by law.
Finally, our audit team found that EOEA did not update its internal control plan to account for impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on operations. This includes not always ensuring that employees who had access to COVID-19 funds completed cybersecurity awareness training.
Gaps in assessment and monitoring can put elders at risk of continued abuse. Just as bad, they create vulnerabilities that have the potential to undermine the entire system. It is unacceptable that elders have continued to be put at risk due to a lack of responsive action.
These lapses in oversight occurred under the Baker Administration.
It is my hope that the new administration takes observations, feedback, and recommendations from our audit report to help turn things around – so that our elders get the best possible services.
If you would like to read the full audit report, please visit: HERE
As always, please feel free to contact my office at any time for more information at email@example.com and 617-727-2075.
Yours in service,