With Renewed Calls For Budget Belt Tightening, Time For An Accounting Of What’s Been Done To Address Recent Audits

L Belt Budget

June 28, 2017

June 28, 2017

 

With Renewed Calls For Budget Belt Tightening, Time For An Accounting Of What’s Been Done To Address Recent Audits Showing Millions Of Dollars Being Drained From Vermont.

In the past few years, the State Auditor’s Office has consistently been performing what one would believe are some pretty illuminating audits, some finding millions of dollars being drained from Vermont’s coffers with little to no accounting for how the money is being spent and what the results have been to date. This is important, especially with the State’s new mandate to departments and agencies to cut another 2% to 4% from operating budgets.

This summer, if you run into one of your local legislators or a State official, ask him or her what’s been done—is being done—to collect the millions of lost taxpayer dollars identified in some of these recent audits from the Auditor’s Office:

2013

Auditor’s Report Finds DOC’s Inmate Health Care "Cost-Plus" Contract Is Costing State Millions More Than Expected

From Feb. 1, 2010, through Jan. 31, 2013, the state paid CCS $53.3 million to provide health care services to roughly 1,500 inmates incarcerated at in-state facilities — $4.2 million over what the state had budgeted.

2014

Auditor Slams State’s Failure To Track Social Service Contracts

In fiscal year 2013, AHS departments paid $246 million to 11 organizations, known as Designated Agencies, to provide a range of services to adults with mental illness, young people with severe emotional disturbances, and people with developmental disabilities.

Half of the payments were based on inclusive rates, or payments for a group of services over a set period. The performance audit found that while the state monitors “many facets of the agencies’ performance, they don’t generally compare the services budgeted to those actually performed” as part of inclusive rate contracts.

2015

Auditor’s Office Releases Audit Harsh Of State’s "Sole-Source" Contracting Practices

Audit finds that even though the State has required a competitive bidding process when contracting with private vendors for more than 20 years, it’s “commonplace” for the State to award “sole-source” (a.k.a. “no-bid”) contracts. The total amount awarded through no-bid contracts for 2015 was $68 million, or 27 percent of all.

Ski Area Leases Of State Land Badly Outdated, Auditor Finds

Vermont’s ski industry has outgrown the terms of decades-old leases of state land that were designed to help resorts grow and now result in lucrative deals for booming resorts, a state audit has found.

2016

Auditor Identifies Data Collection Problems At Tax Department

The Tax Department collected just half of all delinquent income taxes in 2013 and 2014. The audit found that $12.9 million of the $22.5 million owed was collected. An additional $7.2 million in other accounts was also still owed, as of July 2016.

Audit: Public Defender Fees Mostly Go Uncollected

Judiciary is collecting less than a third of the $3.1 million in court-ordered assessments for public defender services due between January 2012 and December 2014.

Audit Finds DCF Beneficiary Fraud

Nearly $1.8 million is owed to DCF due to fraud committed by beneficiaries between January 2013 and April 2016.

Auditor: Millions Of Dollars Later, VITL’s Impact Not Measurable

State pays private contractor VITL $38 million, but whether or not this was money well spent cannot be determined.

2017

Auditor: State Paid Workers $3m During Misconduct Probes

In two concurrent reviews, the auditor’s office found that the state has paid out more than necessary to keep employees on leave while they are investigate.

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Demand an accounting VSEA! Vermonters deserve one before allowing lawmakers and the State to begin cutting public services and jobs—again, or asking frontline employees for concessions—again.

Thanks for the help and please let VSEA know what the response to your inquiry is.

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