Auditor General says $7M a year wasted because of mismanagement by Dept. of Public Welfare

An audit reveals millions of taxpayers dollars wasted and years of mismanagement by a state agency in Pennsylvania.

On Thursday, Auditor General, Eugene DePasquale talked about flaws his office found in the Department of Public Welfare.

DePasquale says thousands of people who provide services that help the elderly and people with disabilities went for months without a paycheck.

And, he says the whole mess is costing taxpayers at least $7 million a year.

“We have a responsibility as a state and federal government that when we hire a contractor as an employee,” says Auditor General, Eugene DePasquale.

DePasquale says the audit found that at least 1,500 people switched to a more expensive model of home care when the department transitioned in January to save money.

It went from 36 payroll providers to 3, and then eventually one from Boston, Mass., Public Partnerships Limited LLC.

DePasquale says the Department of Public Welfare didn’t provide the proper oversight and accountability of its newly contracted payroll providers.

“We have to fix it and we’ve got to get better at this because we’re not just talking about painting some line on a bridge, we’re talking about caring for the most vulnerable people in our society that everyone agrees is our moral responsibility in the wealthiest country in the world,” says DePasquale.

Theotis Braddy says he experienced the problem first hand and went into panic mode when he started to notice a problem.

“We didn’t know what to do, for the first time in my life I experienced depression during this whole thing. As a person with disability we depend on attendants to come in our homes to get us up out of bed and so we can go on and care about our daily activities,” says Theotis Braddy.

He says his providers kept taking care of him even though they weren’t getting paid.

Braddy says he’s thankful for that but upset over the stress it all caused him.

“I think it was one of the worst decisions ever made,” says Braddy.