Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner says with $16 billion in federal stimulus money coming to the state over the next 2 years, he's concerned about the accountability of how that money is spent. Wagner sent a letter to the federal Government Accountability Office administrator about the "potential for a lack of statewide government transparency and accountability in the use of these vitally important funds." Wagner says he salutes Governor Rendell for creating a stimulus funds Oversight Commission but says there still needs to be "an independent set of eyes" looking at how these tax dollars are spent. In his letter to the G-A-O, Wagner mentioned that there were "significant internal control weaknesses" in federally funded programs administered by the state including Medicaid and low income heating assistance (LIHEAP). Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo says the administration believes Wagner's assertions are unwarranted and wonders about his true motive. Ardo said that a review of alleged fraud in LIHEAP determined the money was properly spent and that Wagner's audit of Medicaid expenditures contained errors.