Oversight, Audits needed for Department of Human Services
In July, I wrote about the numerous issues going on at the Department of Human Services, the state’s largest agency that over a million Minnesotans rely on for services. At the time, we wanted
Unfortunately, the problems have only multiplied since I joined my colleagues in calling for immediate hearings on the ongoing chaos at the DHS. Since the letter was sent to Speaker Hortman and HHS Chairs on July 15, there have been a number of concerning developments that underscore the need for the Minnesota House to hold hearings:
DHS is our state's largest agency and represents the second-largest portion of our state budget. The chaos and turnover has real-world consequences for taxpayers, millions of Minnesotans served by DHS, and legislators as we look ahead to the 2020 session. For eight years under Governor Dayton, these problems were allowed to fester — finally reaching a point where now the problems could no longer be swept under the rug.
Like you, I pay my taxes. Like you, I want my tax money to be spent wisely and not wasted. And like you, I expect government agencies to establish basic controls and avoid fraud — and this is where the Walz Administration, specifically DHS, is failing.
A forensic audit of DHS is needed to fully understand the scope of the issues and to clean up the mess at the Department of Human Services. From $73 million in improper payments to the daycare fraud issues uncovered in the past few years to the turmoil in leadership, the trickling out of waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars needs to end.
Once the audit is completed, proper oversight and control need to be put in place to ensure waste and fraud like have taken place at DHS never happens again. This is also why we may need to either elevate the office of the legislative auditor or create a new inspector general position to investigate state agencies.
After these stories began to receive media attention, I have heard from so many of you that are simply fed up with the waste of taxpayer dollars and resources. I am too. Make your voices heard, please reach out to my office 651.296.4282 or call your legislator to encourage them to support getting to the bottom and then fixing the problems at DHS.