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It seems that fraud and abuse is alive and well, and living off the tax payer’s dime in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, all while the Department of Human Services was apparently looking the other way, which seems to be in keeping with the majority of both state and federal agencies.

Pennsylvania is simply the most recent one to be audited, however the findings aren’t all that shocking, in that over 2,300 deceased Pennsylvanians received welfare benefits long after they were dead and buried, and perhaps even still voting…who knows?

The so-called “audit” was released Wednesday by the Auditor General, who reviewed its apparent “mishandling” of tax payer funds of public assistance benefits by the DHS between July 2010 and April 2016. And found potential fraud, including weaknesses in monitoring who is receiving benefits and inappropriate EBT card usage, according to a summary.

Among the findings were:

• DHS policy allows public assistance benefits to be paid to recipients up to a year after their death, which accounted for nearly $700,000 to be paid to 2,324 dead individuals on welfare benefits from July 2013 to June 2014.

• DHS does not perform any security checks in detecting thefts of electronic EBT cards after a welfare recipient card holder dies

• DHS does not monitor out-of-state usage of EBT benefits which exceeds $70 million a year, including money spent in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Island.
However the audit acknowledged that welfare recipients may have legitimate reasons for the out-of-sate usage, including employment, and or family obligations.

Moreover one thing seems clear in that the fundamental fault for the fraud and abuse stems from a willful lack of the Auditor General to conduct timely audits, in that this particular case, it went from 2010 to 2016. The question that should be asked is "why 6-years, and not every year"?

What seems apparent is that there’s a systemic lack of urgency and accountability within almost all facets of government, mishandling, incompetence, malfeasance, and outright corruption have all become an interrogate part of daily government business.

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