Feds must take over fraud investigation

After reading “Rhode Island Health and Human Services Waste and Fraud Project,” it is clear that the report needs to be passed on to federal authorities for further investigation. More

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PBN Editorial

Feds must take over fraud investigation

Posted 3/18/13

After reading “Rhode Island Health and Human Services Waste and Fraud Project,” it is clear that the report needs to be passed on to federal authorities for further investigation.

The report lists a number of areas in federally financed, state-administered social welfare programs in which former gubernatorial candidate Ken Block found fraud and waste, although he was prevented from reaching a final tally of wasted taxpayer money due in large part to various government jurisdictions either not granting him access to their data or with outdated computer systems.

Assuming the federal government can do a better job of seeing the data (a logical assumption if not a given), it should be able to close the loop in ways Mr. Block could not.

But more than that, it has been the governor’s secretive handling of the report – first making reference to it but not releasing it until public pressure could not be ignored – which undermines confidence that the state would be willing to dig hard and bring fraudsters – and potentially negligent public officials – to justice. •

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