AUDITOR: Green Communities Division program needs more oversight

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – The Office of the State Auditor has released a report recommending the Green Communities Division (GCD) within the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) must create more effective monitoring controls in its oversight of the green communities designation program.

Audit of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources—Green Communities Division

The audit, which examined the period of July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020, found GCD did not ensure that all municipalities that received a “green communities” designation from GCD were submitting their required annual reports and did not ensure documentation of all grant funding expenditures was submitted as required by state regulations and grant requirements.

According to the audit, in fiscal year 2019, GCD did not receive annual reports from 11 green communities; in fiscal year 2020 the division did not receive annual reports from 17 green communities.  Also, GCD did not obtain documentation to justify $46,471 in administrative expenses made by eight green communities that had requested reimbursements through the GCD grant program. 

A green communities designation provides funding opportunities for initiatives that help reduce a municipality’s carbon footprint and energy costs, and implements the use of clean energy technologies.  As of November 2020, 271 of the 351 Massachusetts cities and towns had been designated as green communities.

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