Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

October 14, 2013

Costly bungling

Audit: Agency errors cost state $5.5 million

How can it be that a state agency fails to collect $5.5 million in federal funds? At the same time, the agency overpaid $400,000 for services that it never attempted to recoup.

Those were among the findings of an audit of the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration.

The Baltimore Sun reports that auditors found that the  agency failed to collect $5.5 million in federal funds because it did not file the proper forms, improperly spent $600,000 on motor vehicles, and overpaid $400,000 for services that it never attempted to recover.

On the defensive, the agency has said it will make “fundamental changes” to correct the problems.

The DDA has a budget of nearly $1 billion and helps about 8,000 Marylanders a month live in long-term care facilities or receive services at home. Nearly 5,000 people receive help with employment and about 7,000 receive other support services, according to the agency.

Among the audit findings:

• In 2011 and 2012, officials failed to seek federal reimbursement for some services, costing taxpayers $5.5 million.

• The agency never recovered another $800,000 in Medicaid claims that should have been paid by the federal government.

• Administrators spent $610,000 to buy 23 motor vehicles for clients without evidence that they were eligible for the emergency help.

• The agency failed to bill local jurisdictions at least $1.4 million for services.

Taxpayers can only hope that the O’Malley administration keeps its thumb on the DDA. These are the worst of times for state agencies to be lax and irresponsible in how state funds are handled.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Not a villain Not a villain

    Time was that we looked for heroes. Heroes of the make-believe variety have sold a lot of comic books. We also had real-life heroes like Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, whose deaths the whole nation mourned.
    These days, we seem to be more interested in looking for villains. “Vote for me because I’m the good guy” has taken a back seat to “Don’t vote for him, because he’s the bad guy.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • About time About time

    Although many Cumberland streets are in need of repair and improvements, the decision by city and county officials to address Greene Street is a good one.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where is it?

    Once upon a time, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce held its annual conventions at the Bedford Springs resort hotel near Bedford, which is in Pennsylvania.

    July 28, 2014

  • Korean War Korean War

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sloppy lawmaking is to blame

    July 27, 2014

  • C-minus grade C-minus grade

    If a survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kaufman Foundation is an accurate portrayal, Maryland has a long way to go to become a business-friendly state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo