Lt. Governor-elect Mike Foley says he hopes to use his experience as State Auditor in his new role.
Foley says the administration of Gov.-elect Pete Ricketts will closely scrutinize the Department of Health and Human Services as it looks to streamline state government.
“There are a lot of vulnerable Nebraskans who deserve the services provided by HHS, but we have to do it in a way that’s respectful of the people who pay the bills and that’s the taxpayers,” Foley tells Kevin Thomas, host of Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is the largest department in state government, with an annual budget of $3.4 billion. It employs 5,600 workers.
It also has been a frequent target of Auditor Foley.
Foley has harshly criticized HHS in a series of audits, citing lax fiscal discipline and sloppy accounting on the part of the department. He points out HHS currently is negotiating with federal officials, hoping to trim a $22 million debt to the federal government down to $10-12 million.
Foley expects his experience with HHS will be helpful as the Ricketts Administration re-shapes the agency.
“I serve at the pleasure of the governor. I want to do whatever I can to be helpful,” Foley says. “He’ll take the lead on this and direct me as he wishes to play a role in the clean-up of HHS. But I do have a lot of experience there, a lot of knowledge, and I have the will to jump in and help out wherever I can.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:55]