(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, Ranking Member of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight Representative Charles Boustany, Jr. M.D. (R-LA) sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius regarding an independent audit conducted by Ernst & Young, which reveals continued shortcomings and weaknesses within HHS’ financial management system. The audit is a follow-up to an audit conducted in 2010 calling into question the financial accounting practices at HHS after more than $794 million was found to be improperly accounted for.
In the letter, Coburn and Boustany write, “It is unacceptable that HHS fails to maintain accurate financial records and fails to adhere to federal law designed to protect taxpayer dollars from mismanagement and waste.”
The letter goes on to highlight several findings of continued concern and called on HHS to provide explanations to the issues below by March 15, 2012:
• HHS and Treasury Accounts Differ by $500 Million – An Increase of $100 Million since September 2010
• $886 Million in Mystery Money – An Increase of More Than $250 Million since 2010
• $2 Billion in Taxpayer Dollars in Limbo Disappears in the 2011 Financial Audit
• $2.6 Billion Owed to Employer-based Retiree Prescription Drug Plans – An Increase of $700 Million since FY 2010
• $3.8 Billion Owed to CMS – An Increase of $2.2 Billion since FY 2010
The full letter can be read here.
The Office of the Inspector General at HHS has outlined “Top Management and Performance Challenges” for the Department, here.