Audit Questions State Agency's Costs

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JEFFERSON CITY - After releasing a recent audit, State Auditor, Tom Schweich, is questioning how one state agency handled some costs in a performance review.  Even though the audit highlighted some problems with a Missouri Health Net unit, it rated its operation as "good" in the areas reviewed. 

According to Schweich's news release, salaries and travel expenses for two people who helped conduct the review of the Department of Social Services program integrity unit were paid through the department's budget, even though the employees did not perform duties related to the unit.  They also reported to managers at another agency, the Missouri Office of Administration. 

According to the audit, about $139,000 were spent in two years.  Schweich called for the Governor's Office and Office of Administration not to use money in the Social Services Department's budget that way.  The Department of Social Services said it called for the performance review to ensure the unit was doing everything possible to protect taxpayer money and wanted the evaluators to be independent.