BOSTON, MA — Auditor Suzanne M. Bump today released an audit of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech) that assessed the controls and planning at its Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI). This audit was undertaken as part of the Office of the State Auditor’s statutory obligation to audit every state agency every 3 years.
MBI’s mission is to assess and improve access to affordable broadband services for communities with little or no broadband access. In 2008, Governor Deval Patrick signed the Broadband Act, which designated a $40 million investment in broadband infrastructure. Another $4.3 million was added in July 2009 to build fiber-optics along Interstate 91. In 2010, $45.5 million from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was used to expand broadband access through the “middle mile,” a network infrastructure to which local networks connect. The “last mile” enables connections to residences and businesses.
The audit found that MBI:
· established long-term and annual operating plans for itself and the Broadband Incentive Fund;
· promulgated and adhered to required regulations; and
· had adequate controls over the Middle and Last Mile projects to provide oversight of third-party contractors.
MassTech was formed in 1994 as an operating entity to enhance the state’s economic competitiveness. MBI is governed by a nine-member board of directors, and the director of MBI is appointed by the executive director of the MassTech and approved by MassTech’s board.
The audit reviewed activities at MBI from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2016.