P R E S S R E L E A S E
For Immediate Release:
March 24, 2009
Contact: Harvey M. Rice
BUTKOVITZ AUDIT REVEALS $4.6 MILLION OVER BILLING BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES
Invoice included office space not utilized by DHS
PHILADELPHIA – City Controller Alan Butkovitz today released the City’s Single Audit FY07 that found the Department of Human Services (DHS) improperly billed the Commonwealth for building space it did not use, resulting in a $4.6 million over billing.
The invoice DHS sent to the Commonwealth included the square footage for the entire building at 1515 Arch Street. DHS only utilized 175,304 of the building’s 379,864 square feet. The remaining space was used by other city agencies.
“Our funding relationship with the state and federal government is built on trust,” said Butkovitz. “We must do everything within our power to ensure that our billing and invoices are accurate and that our on-going funding is not placed in jeopardy because of weak bookkeeping and questionable accounting.”
DHS is reimbursed a percentage of the expenditures it reports to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. The invoice was for $8.7 million and the unallowable cost resulted in an excess reimbursement of $3,662,108.
“We cannot allow City Departments to improperly bill our grantors,” said Butkovitz. “The City’s critical services rely on Federal, State and City funding to operate and there’s too much at stake to send inaccurate invoices.”
The audit also found DHS did not ensure the continued eligibility of some recipients of Placement Maintenance. Of 18 cases tested, 12 cases were not timely recertified. DHS agreed and reported that there was a backlog of 5,547 re-determinations.
“Failure to recertify eligibility in a timely manner increases the risk that services could be provided to ineligible recipients,” said Butkovitz.
The Philadelphia Department of Human Services provides and promotes safety and permanency for children and youth at risk of abuse, neglect and delinquency.