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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R)

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DHS Audit finds ongoing problems

Friday, July 26, 2013
Dear Friend,
 
As you may have seen last week on the news, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) was cited by the federal government for "significant, ongoing noncompliance" with federal laws that require eligibility checks to be performed for those receiving certain government benefits.
 
Under current law, DHS is required to verify the income and eligibility of those who receive assistance such as childcare subsidies and welfare. Without these checks, there's the potential for millions in improperly distributed benefits. Taxpayers deserve better than this. At a time when the Democrats are pouring millions of dollars into new government programs, and are paying for it by raising taxes on Minnesotans at every income level, it's outrageous that we aren't first working to ensure that every dollar of waste, fraud, and abuse has been identified within government agencies to save valuable taxpayer dollars.
 
What makes this even more outrageous is that this isn't the first time that DHS has been cited for noncompliance. This has been an issue for several years now, and despite promises that they would address the problem, the seemingly willful noncompliance continues. When will the agencies be held accountable for violating federal law? I know if you or I were deliberately ignoring laws and rules at work that it wouldn't be long before we were fired. Yet DHS is allowed to violate these laws year after year with no consequence, offering empty promises and empty assurances that the problems will be resolved, and that taxpayer dollars are being spent responsibly.
 
I will work to keep you informed of this pressing issue. I will be monitoring the situation next session and ensuring that DHS is held accountable, and that they provide answers to the legislature why the noncompliance has continued, what they're doing to correct these problems, and whether or not they have truly worked to identify areas of fraud to prevent taxpayer dollars from being wasted.
 
Hope you are enjoying your summer,
 
Glenn
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