On October 29th, the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) released its special review of overpayments by the Department of Human Services (DHS) to two Minnesota Native American tribes. “Our review found troubling dysfunction at the Department of Human Services, which resulted in the department making $29 million in overpayments,” the report states, adding that these payments “were not authorized” but continued to occur over several years.
Senator Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson) issued a statement on the newly published special review saying that the review’s results are “stunningly egregious.” What Senator Newman finds most concerning “is the failure of department management to flag the unauthorized payments or have controls to prevent the payments from happening.”
Senator Newman is calling for the legislature to make “significant changes” to DHS in the upcoming legislative session. “Unfortunately, this is just the latest in a long line of scandals at DHS,” Newman adds.
Along with the overpayments to two Native American Tribes in Minnesota, DHS has openly retaliated against an employee for speaking out about the dysfunction. Additionally, DHS was involved in a major fraud scandal with the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) that ended with their Inspector General being placed on paid leave. DHS has also undergone a long string of resignations from top officials; in addition, many of these officials also rescinding their resignations.
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