WESTFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — State Auditor Suzanne Bump and Govenor Deval Patrick are at odds over the credibility of a recent look into the state’s welfare benefits.
It seems as of today, they are far from an agreement on what the numbers actually mean.
Governor Patrick is questioning the accuracy of a recent audit that found that state welfare benefits had been paid to more than 1,100 people who were actually deceased.
At an event Friday, Patrick called on State Auditor Suzanne Bump to share all the information gathered by her staff during the audit that covered a two and a half year period.
Patrick said the auditor has given the administration only 178 cases of benefits allegedly going to people after they died.
Of those 178 cases, he said nine times out of ten, the conclusions were wrong.
“Any one instance of an abuse or fraud is a problem and we have a very, very strong record of going after that, and we will continue to do that, and the job of the Auditor of bringing these issue to light is enormously important,” Patrick says.
The Governor’s comments echoed criticism from Secretary of Health and Human Services John Palanowicz in a letter to bump on Thursday.
Bump is defending the audit, saying the recommendations will help improve the integrity of public benefit programs.
While he calls the gaming of the system and the error rate they have found so far in the audit report infuriating, the Govenor went on to say that the good news is 99.9 percent of all money that taxpayers spend on DTA benefits are properly spent.
In response to the indiscrepancies, State Auditor Suzanne Bump says she would be happy to sit down with the Health and Human Services secretary and go over the individual cases.