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Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety
Edward A. Flynn
Secretary of Public Safety
Assistant Secretary of Public Safety
The Executive Office of Public Safety (EOPS) Programs Division manages $100 million per year in federal grant funds for law enforcement and criminal justice programs. Prior to the arrival of Public Safety Secretary Edward Flynn, grant-making at the Executive Office of Public Safety was characterized by a lack of oversight and management. Grant-making was based on outdated strategies and technologies, and it was conducted without any standard procedures, providing easy access for abuse of the system. The agency, responsible for less than a tenth of a percent of the state’s budget dollars, was named in one out of nine of the audit findings in the state-wide audit.
Upon arrival, Secretary Flynn undertook a review of the grant programs and charged one of his senior staffers with fixing the broken agency. Several improvements were put in place by Secretary Flynn and Assistant Secretary Jane Wiseman:
- Automation of the process. By automating the application posting, proposal submission and award noticing processes, the office has become more user-friendly and has saved significant time and money. The office has also created new database tracking systems for grantee reports to help understand demand for each grant program and assure compliance with federal regulations.
- Linking to strategy—competition for grant funds. Grant funds can best be put to strategic use when the process involves some competition. The office has implemented a formal competitive and standardized process for rating, ranking, and scoring grant applications that provides clarity to applicants and to program administrators.
- Improved internal controls. The chief fiscal officer worked with the state Comptroller to leverage best practice examples from other organizations to strengthen and document internal controls.
- Grantee monitoring, including fiscal and programmatic site visits. Grants are selected for site visits based on a risk-based triage method. First-time grantees, grantees with large dollar amount awards, and grantees with a past history of problems receive high priority for site visits.
- Documented grant-making policies and procedures. The Programs Division has recently published a manual on how to conduct a grant process, including standards and re-usable templates.
About the Authors
Edward A. Flynn, Secretary of Public Safety since 2003, is responsible for the management of a variety of public safety agencies, boards, and commissions, including the Massachusetts State Police, the Department of Correction, the National Guard, and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. He also serves as the chief adviser to Governor Romney on homeland security.
Mr. Flynn has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience. Most recently, he was Chief of Police in Arlington County, Virginia, where he was instrumental in the recovery effort at the Pentagon after the September 11 terrorist attack and participated in the 2002 Washington, D.C., area sniper shootings investigation. He also has been Chief of Police in Braintree, where he was credited with modernizing the department, and in Chelsea, where he helped lead the city out of state-imposed receivership to designation as an “All American City.” His early career was spent in the Jersey City, New Jersey, Police Department, where he served for 15 years, rising to the rank of Inspector.
He holds a B.A. in history from LaSalle University in Philadelphia and a master’s degree in criminal justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, and he has completed all coursework in the Ph.D. program in criminal justice from the City University of New York. A graduate of the FBI National Academy, he was a National Institute of Justice Pickett Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Jane Wiseman, Assistant Secretary in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety since 2003, is responsible for $100 million in federal and state grant funds for public safety and homeland security in the Commonwealth. She oversees grant-making for programs funded by the state legislature as well as the Massachusetts Office of Justice Programs, Office of Domestic Preparedness, and Department of Education, and the National Highway Safety Administration. She has initiated electronic grant-making and has automated several components of the back-end processing of grants.
Before joining state government, Ms. Wiseman was in management consulting with Accenture. She previously worked in Washington, D.C., at the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, during which time she spent one budget season on detail from the Justice Department to the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State and Related Agencies. In addition, she has served in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Ms. Wiseman holds a bachelor’s in government from Smith College and a Master’s of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.