Serving as Massachusetts state auditor doesn’t just mean reviewing finances. A big part of my role, as I often speak about with folks across the state, is reviewing the performance and efficacy of the Commonwealth’s agencies and entities. A great example of the responsibility to look beyond number crunching is our office’s recently released audit of the Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB).
People are familiar with the concept that Massachusetts registers convicted sex offenders, maintaining a database of where such people live and work in an effort to maintain public safety. This system of public safety is maintained by SORB, a seven-member board appointed by the governor and staffed by more than 70 individuals.
Our recent audit looked at SORB’s operations from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021. Covering that two-year period, my team homed in on whether or not SORB classified sex offenders at least 10 days before they were released from custody, thus ensuring they were assigned an appropriate level. Further, we looked at whether SORB or not used all the resources at their disposal to accurately identify sex offenders who were in violation of maintaining their registration.
I was disappointed to find that SORB underperformed in a way that could have a negative impact upon the public.