• Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

CT MARB implements financial management firm in West Haven

Last month, the state executed a contract with Protiviti Governmental Services, a Virginia-based subsidiary of management consulting Robert Half. Kimberly Kennison, executive finance manager of the state Office of Policy and Management, said at a Sept. 14 MARB meeting that there had already been a “kick-off meeting” to introduce Protiviti officials to stakeholders and begin their work. 

“I’m very excited about this, and also being able to help the city move forward and address those items that need immediate attention,” she said.

West Haven was placed under Tier III of the MARB’s four-tiered system in 2017 following the issuance of deficit bonds and remained there until May 2022, when Gov. Ned Lamont escalated the city to Tier IV. Under Tier IV, the MARB has approval authority over all bond ordinances, budget transfers, contracts greater than $50,000 and has the right to appoint a finance manager to work within City Hall to implement the board’s advice and mandates.

Throughout its time under MARB oversight, West Haven leadership has been criticized for its lacking financial controls. Although the city has eliminated its recurring budget deficits, initially aided by supplemental state funding by the MARB, the theft of $1.2 million from the city by former state Rep. Michael DiMassa and a forensic audit of the city’s management of federal pandemic funding exposed pervasive deficiencies in financial management.

Earlier this year, some impatient MARB members began to call for a state takeover of the city; OPM Secretary Jeffrey Beckham urged the members to allow the state to first work through all of the remedies available through the MARB by statute before raising that possibility.

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