Two members of Congress are demanding answers from HHS after an independent audit showed financial discrepancies they say amount to financial mismanagement in the department.
Lawmakers query HHS in wake of audit
Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), both physicians, sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that highlighted findings from an Ernst & Young audit for HHS' inspector general's office. In the letter, the Republican lawmakers ask HHS officials to explain why auditors concluded that the department's general ledger differed with records from the U.S. Treasury Department by more than $500 million as of June 30, 2011.
They also asked why about 102,500 transactions that represent travel, grants and contracts and totaled about $1.8 billion were left open, without any activity, for more than two years. And they highlighted a report finding that various internal processes and controls at HHS have not been updated since the mid-1980s. The lawmakers asked Sebelius to explain the department's “efforts to update procedural manuals and to estimate when HHS' policies and procedures will be made current.”
Boustany,who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, and Coburn, who is ranking member on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, have requested that answers and information be provided no later than March 15.
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