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Audit: More oversight needed over federal welfare dollars

April 15, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s state auditor is calling for tighter oversight of federal welfare dollars.

Auditor Pola Buckley in her recently released audit finds that state oversight is so lax that it’s possible that such dollars are improperly being spent. Such federal money is meant to help low-income families but states have some flexibility to use such dollars to prevent out-of-wedlock pregnancies in general.

The audit found the Department of Health and Human Services awarded $19.2 million of federal welfare dollars to contractors in the fiscal year ending last summer. Buckley said the department didn’t collect performance data to make sure funds were spent on services allowed under federal law.

The department agreed with such findings and said it’s reviewing contracts funded with federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families money.

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