State Auditor Mike Foley contends the Department of Health and Human Services cannot be fixed and must be re-built.
And Foley dismisses suggestions he has been so harsh on DHHS to bolster his candidacy for governor.
Foley has issued another audit harshly critical of the state Department of Health and Human Services, claiming hundreds of thousands of dollars meant for vulnerable Nebraskans has been misspent. Criminal charges have been filed in one case.
Foley says DHHS must be taken completely apart. He rejects notions that it is just too big.
“It’s always going to be too big,” Foley tells reporters when questioned after releasing the audit. “You can break it up into 17 pieces if you want to; it’s always going to be a big problem.”
The state Auditor’s office has released a number of audits critical of the Department of Health and Human Services. At some of the news conferences called to release details of the audit, DHHS officials have been present. None appeared at the latest news conference.
Foley says this isn’t a question of shifting boxes on an organizational chart, but rather the need for wholesale, structural reform of how the department spends money.
“There are millions of dollars leaking through the HHS system and that’s not fair to the taxpayers of Nebraska,” Foley says.
Foley dismisses notions he has been so hard on DHHS to bolster his candidacy for governor. Foley calls the latest audit of the department rock solid, the result of good, solid audit work that needed to be done.
Foley is one of five Republicans running to succeed Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican, who cannot run for re-election due to term limits.
The other Republicans in the field are state Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont, state Sen. Tom Carlson of Holdrege, state Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha, and Omaha business executive Pete Ricketts.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]