Walsh: Review shows ‘troubling deficiencies’ in BRA

Lauren Dezenski, Reporter Staff
Jul. 23, 2014

The Boston Redevelopment Authority is in “dire need of reform” according to the recently released audit on the planning agency commissioned by Mayor Martin Walsh this spring.

The pro-bono audit, conducted by KPMG, found the agency badly lacked integration between departments, had insufficient and disjointed compliance protocols, and lacked a centralized digital document database, leaving significant paper to be completed, filed, and processed by hand.

“The report raises many serious and troubling concerns about how the organization has operated over the years,” Brian Golden, acting director of the BRA said in a statement. “We embrace these findings. This is an opportunity to strengthen the way we do business so that we’re able to serve the public in a more efficient, accountable, and transparent manner.”

Golden and members of the BRA’s leadership team including a new chief of staff, and a new director of development review and policy, have already begun to institute reforms to improve the BRA’s operations, the city said. Recent changes to vacation, sick leave, and compensatory time policies for employees will help the agency save funding and HR is implementing performance evaluations for all employees and management training for senior staff.

The BRA will now hire an outside firm to complete a thorough review of the agency and establish a set of recommendations.