Office of the Inspector General (OIG) Glenn A. Cunha, Inspector General
Presented on: May 28, 2015
Presented at: Sherwood Middle School, Shrewsbury, MA
If your school District is interested in partnering with the MSBA to make physical improvements to a current school building or to build a new school, and you have not yet attended a “Story of a Building” seminar, make a note on your calendar to join us next year!
Last year at Maynard’s new High School and this year at Shrewsbury’s Sherwood Middle School, participants were given the opportunity to learn building project “dos and don’ts” from the crew who planned, designed, constructed and now use the new school: community and school building committee members; the District Superintendents and school Principals; as well as the design and construction team; and the end-users, the educators and students. Specifically, participants learned about how to successfully support a school building project and saw first-hand how a new school promotes a 21st century learning environment.
On May 28, 2015, the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General and the MSBA collaborated to present “The Story of a Building” seminar at Sherwood Middle School to approximately 50 superintendents, school business managers, town managers and procurement officials from all across the Commonwealth. The seminar has always been a fun, informative, and successful event, and this year’s event was no different. Attendees were immersed in the backstory of constructing this school – from early planning and funding strategy, to commissioning the building and final cost close-out. The seminar began with a technology use presentation by teachers and students, followed by a student-led tour of the school, and a delicious school lunch served in the light-filled cafeteria. The seminar concluded with panelists presenting substantive information on the nuts and bolts of assembling an effective team to work together to conduct a school building project, despite inevitable obstacles.
This year, Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg also joined us in the afternoon for a conversation about her vision for the MSBA.
View the Sherwood Middle School Presentation
Below are some helpful links to information discussed at the seminar:
The Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General
The Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General ("OIG") was established in 1981 at the recommendation of the Special Commission Concerning State and County Buildings and its Chairman, John William Ward. The OIG was granted a broad mandate under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 12A to prevent and detect fraud, waste and abuse in the expenditure of public funds (M.G.L. c.12A).
The OIG fulfills its "prevention" mandate by disseminating lessons and best practices, and building the capacity of public officials through providing technical training and assistance by way of the Massachusetts Certified Public Purchasing Official Program ("MCPPO"). The "Story of a Building" Seminar has become an annual collaboration between the MSBA and the OIG.
Glenn A. Cunha is the state’s Inspector General. He was sworn in on August 6, 2012 for a five year term.
Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA)
The MSBA is a quasi-independent government authority created to reform the process of funding capital improvement projects in the Commonwealth’s public schools. The MSBA, which has a dedicated revenue stream of one penny of the state’s 6.25-percent sales tax, is partnering with Massachusetts communities to support the design and construction of educationally appropriate, flexible, sustainable and cost-effective public school facilities. The Legislature created the MSBA in 2004 to replace the former school building assistance program administered by the Department of Education (now the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education).
The State Treasurer, Deborah B. Goldberg, serves as Chairperson of a seven member board including the Secretary of Administration and Finance or his designee, the Commissioner of Education or his designee, and four members experienced in a variety of fields, including educational facilities planning, educational standards, school design and construction and finance appointed by the State Treasurer.
Additional Information and Resources
A sampling of documents that may be of interest include:
- New Officials Finance Forum Handbook, Division of Local Services June 2013
- A Guide to Financial Management For Town Officials, Division of Local Services
- Developing a Capital Improvements Program, Municipal Data Management and Technical Assistance Bureau, March 1997 (www.mass.gov/dor/docs/dls/publ/misc/cip.pdf)
- Massachusetts Municipal Association Series of Presentations on Capital Planning
Training Opportunities Include:
- Training & Massachusetts Certified Public Purchasing Official Program, MA Office of the Inspector General
- New Officials Finance Forum, Division of Local Services
Community Compact Cabinet:
“Story of a Building” panelist and MSBA Board Member, Sean Cronin, who is the Senior Deputy Commissioner of Local Services at the Department of Revenue (DOR), presented information about a new DOR initiative called the “Community Compact Cabinet (CCC).” As envisioned by the Baker-Polito administration, participating municipalities are incentivized to “create better government for our citizens” by implementing best practices in certain areas. DOR’s provision of financial resources is offered in accordance with a “Compact” agreement. Eligible best practices areas include: education, energy, financial management, transportation, and information technology. For more information on the CCC’s application process, obligations, incentives and deadlines, click here.