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People Out Of Jobs … Yet Unemployment Benefits Are Paid To The Dead

A recent audit shows Maryland Unemployment checks were paid to dead people, prisoners and state employees.

A just-released legislative audit shows that Maryland unemployment checks were issued to people who were dead, behind bars or even working for state government. One state employee collected almost 6 thousand dollars in unemployment checks while on the state payroll. Auditors say the agency didn’t do enough cross checks in available databases to look for possible fraud.  This most recent audit is one in a series that find careless stewardship of our tax dollars. 

The problem at Unemployment Insurance comes shortly after another audit revealed the Maryland Transportation Authority isn’t collecting unpaid tolls and fines from the worst toll violators. And late last year an accounting error was discovered at the Disabilities Administration that left 34 million dollars unspent as disabled people were stuck on a long waiting list
for services. It’s enough to make hard working taxpayers scream. 

It’s hard to know how many state tax dollars have actually been lost to fraud and how much was wasted or went uncollected because agencies weren’t keeping close tabs. Audits are only done every three years and it’s tough to put your finger on the exact amount of the losses. That’s because auditors do a random sampling or just survey one quarter, when a problem may have existed for several years. Agency chiefs often respond to the critiques by saying remedies are underway or the problem will soon be fixed. Yet the missteps and mismanagement keep resurfacing. This is an outrage.

The problem is one of no enforcement!  Some of these state agencies have problem audits over and over again. No taxpayer deserves this. In the future “repeat offender” agencies should be subject to more frequent audits. There should be some penalty for the bureaucrat bumbling. We are compelled to be better guardians of public funds.

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Penelope Patch October 07, 2012 at 07:36 AM
There is a tremendous amount of waste in the federal and state governmental agencies. I've worked with the state government for many years and it's rather disappointing to see to what degree this is occurring. You've got the "lifers" who are there riding it out to retirement. The entire structure breeds mediocrity at its finest.
franking October 10, 2012 at 07:02 AM
What is remarkable to me is that a discussion of such fraud and waste is met with calls to hire more people to oversee the fraud and waste. In the private sector there would be some accountability and those responsible would be fired.
Penelope Patch October 10, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Franking, you are absolutely right. Not to change the subject...but I just read that Harford County employees are up for a 4% raise. I don't want to offend anyone, because I know that there are a lot of hard working people out there, some who work for local government. But, why don't they do what the school system recently did (I don't work for the school system) and utilize current payroll funds to take care of the raises. Frankly, its a bitter pill to swallow to see people getting raises when others out there (equally or more qualified) who are either laid off or have given up looking for work. After all, this is taxpayer's money, but Harford County seems to have amnesia when it comes to the source the funding that goes into "their budget." There is a great deal of "fluff" in the budget, regardless of what they say. If they want to give their staff a raise, make ends meet with what they have just like the rest of us.
HarfordLassie October 11, 2012 at 11:41 PM
With all due respect this is nothing but shock tactics. What percentage of the overall thousands of claims are in error? How about making sure the upcoming elections aren't rigged?
HarfordLassie October 11, 2012 at 11:44 PM
There is no job security in the public sector. Most jobs lost in the past few years are from the public sector due to government cutbacks. As for benefits, they are nowhere near what they used to be but if you want quality people you have to offer a competitive wage and benefits. The Public Sector is always paid less than the Private Sector except at the level of Ms. Jacobs.

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