Under the Dome

DHHS internal audit office increases staff to address potential fraud, waste

The state Department of Health and Human Services will expand its Office of Internal Audit from eight to 40 employees, DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos announced Wednesday.

"The staffing for the Office of Internal Audit has not kept up with the growth of the Department and its budget," Wos said in a Wednesday press release. "In light of recent challenges in the Department, particularly with unexpected shortfalls in Medicaid, DHHS is improving internal accountability and oversight to ensure the most efficient and effective use of taxpayer dollars."

The Office of Internal Audit evaluates different areas in DHHS, examining information as directed by the department’s secretary.

The department will shift existing vacancies into the internal audit division, so the expansion will not create any new jobs.

The department is usually a year or more behind on auditing “key program areas,” which affects decision-making by department leaders, the press release stated. The head of the Office of Internal Audit, Chet Spruill, is developing a plan for how the division’s responsibilities will change.

The newly quintupled staff will advise in development of performance measures, decide what problem areas need special attention and then evaluate those areas, and analyze previous financial audits, with the aiming of finding fraud, waste and abuse of power.


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Shezanne Cassim, the American jailed in the United Arab Emirates after posting a video parody, was sentenced Monday to one year in prison and a fine of 10,000 UAE dirhams (approximately $2,700).
The young American living in the UAE has been imprisoned since April, his family says, for posting what was intended to be a funny video on the Internet.
He was accused of defaming the UAE's image abroad, according to The National, the country's main English-language newspaper.
The video in question is a 19-minute short that pokes fun at a clique of Dubai teens who are influenced by hip-hop culture. In the 1990s, the label "Satwa G" was coined for a group of suburban teens who were known to talk tougher than they really were.
The video depicts a look at a "combat school" in the suburb of Satwa, where these "gangsters" are trained. The training includes how to throw sandals at targets, using clothing accessories as whips, and how to call on the phone for backup.Cassim's family says the 29-year-old has been charged with endangering national security.The charges were not read out in court. UAE officials would only say "Mr. Cassim was charged under the UAE's penal code. Anyone charged with a crime under the laws of the UAE is entitled to the fair trial protections contained in the UAE's constitution."
Cassim, from Woodbury, Minnesota, moved to Dubai in 2006 after graduating from college to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
He and some friends made and posted the video online in 2012. He was arrested in April. He was interrogated and arrested in Dubai before being transferred to a maximum security prison in Abu Dhabi. His family says it was five months before he was notified of the charges against him.

If only

your logic were applied to other areas of the budget.


Dont need to look far to find waste:

Considering that your estimate is about .012% of the total DHHS budget, that seems like a pretty good investment to help monitor an agency with 16,000 employees.

Don't need to look very far to find waste

So if each of these 32 auditors gets paid, say, $50,000 a year, then Wos is spending more than $1.5M to police her own agency? Does she not have any controls in place?

Seems to me that this is an enormous waste of taxpayer dollars. We can afford to hire unnecessary internal auditors but we can't afford teacher assistants?

This is the latest -- and worst -- decision in Wos's long line of bad decisions in her short tenure as DHHS secretary.

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