State Auditor Shad White alleges that millions of dollars of grants from the Mississippi Department of Human Services (DHS) were misspent, converted to personal use, spent on family members and friends of staffers and grantees, or wasted.
White held a press conference to announce the findings of an audit released today.
“This completed audit of DHS for the previous year shows the most egregious misspending my staff has seen in their careers at the Office of the State Auditor,” said White.
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White said the audit’s formal finding is that over $94 million of grant money has been “questioned,” meaning auditors either saw clear misspending or could not verify the money had been lawfully spent.
According to White, the audit also suggested DHS conduct an internal investigation into current and former DHS staff who may have played a role in the fraud.
MDHS issues RFI for a forensic audit of the agency
MDHS Executive Director Bob Anderson, who was appointed by Governor Tate Reeves on March 4, 2020, has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to select an accounting firm to conduct a forensic audit of the agency.
“Governor Reeves selected me to ensure the Department of Human Services takes every measure possible to provide tangible help for the people who need it most,” Anderson said. “This audit will provide us the opportunity to see what should be sustained and what areas need the most improvement.”
“The single-audit report clearly demonstrates the amount of damage and coercion perpetrated by John Davis against this agency and the people of Mississippi,” Anderson said. “This audit, while covering multiple years, still makes it obvious that we need a complete, forensic audit to look at all aspects of the agency so we can move forward and put the past behind us.”
Anderson added that his office will oversee the forensic audit while working with the Office of the State Auditor as needed.