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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 29K: Audit by state authority of appropriations received from the commonwealth equal to or in excess of $500,000; audit committee; compensation committee; annual financial report; limitation on compensation of executives and employees of state authority

Section 29K. (a) Each state authority that receives a total amount of appropriations from the commonwealth equal to or in excess of $500,000 in any fiscal year shall, on an annual basis, conduct an audit of those funds. Each such audit shall be conducted by an independent auditor and shall be filed with the state auditor for examination, review and comment.

(b) Each state authority shall:

(1) establish an audit committee that shall meet independently of management at least once per calendar year, retain an independent auditor and hear the results of the annual audit; provided, however, that a state authority may rely upon an audit required by any other general or special law in meeting the requirements of this section;

(2) establish a compensation committee that shall: (i) meet independently of management at least once per calendar year and shall evaluate and establish executive compensation including, but not limited to, base salary, bonuses, severance, retirement or deferred compensation packages and policies relative to the accrual and payment of sick and vacation time, including payouts for unused sick and vacation time; and (ii) analyze and assess comparable compensation for positions with similar functions and responsibilities at state agencies and authorities, as well as for-profit and nonprofit private-sector employers; and

(3) prepare an annual financial report which shall disclose operating revenues and expenses, including the salaries and compensation of its executive director, officers, board members and senior management, and other highly-compensated employees.

(c) No executive of a state authority shall be compensated for sick, vacation or other leave time to an extent greater than the leave time granted to a state employee.

(d) No executive of a state authority shall be granted severance pay after removal for cause and no executive shall be granted severance pay in excess of 3 months' salary if removed other than for cause.

(e) The commonwealth shall not subsidize the health insurance, pension and other post-employment benefits of state authority employees and retirees. Each state authority and independent entity shall be charged the full actuarial value of its liabilities by the public employee retirement administration commission and the group insurance commission.

(f) The secretary of administration and finance shall adopt regulations to carry out this section. Audits and financial reports shall be based on generally accepted accounting principles or generally accepted government auditing standards and shall be considered a public record under clause Twenty-sixth of section 7 of chapter 4.

(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of the attorney general, inspector general, state auditor or other state agency.