Recent audit shows $76 million in misspent funds.
Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, Bob Anderson, sat down with Y’all Politics to provide some insight into the most recent forensic audit ordered by the MDHS.
The audit, which differed from the State Auditor’s office, was ordered by the Department through a firm, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP. It found that roughly $76 million in TANF funds were misspent by the previous MDHS Director and other upper level leadership. The auditor’s office originally reported potentially $94 million in misspent funds during the first audit.
A forensic audit essentially tests every transaction that occurs within a determined time period. The department selected January 1, 2016 until December 31, 2019. That included all of time, and a few additional months, that John Davis served as director.
The firm began the audit in December of 2020 and finished in September of 2021, presenting their findings on October 1. They examined 225 million in TANF spending during that four year period.
Anderson said the largest part of that money that remains is attributable to MCEC, who did not cooperate with the forensic audit. They are responsible for roughly $40 million in spending.
Since taking over the department Anderson said they have implemented several transparency initiatives to ensure these types of issues never occur again. Firstly, they created a compliance office as soon as Anderson took the office. They have been working to improve the monitoring process and others over the last year. This is often what sub-grants go through. While this program existed under Davis, often times there was no follow through and he would make final decisions without going through proper protocol.