Earlier today, Moe Lane documented the monumental *cough* $775 Million budget cut the White House has recommended. This figure struck me as an interesting one when compared with a certain report the Obama Administration has been dodging since November — Ernst & Young’s comprehensive examination of the Dept. of Health and Human Services’ budgetary lapses.
According to the 3 MB report available for download at Health Care News, the accounting firm found that HHS could not identify where nearly $800 Million had gone!
Emphasis mine cause it’s important:
Currently, DHHS has completed its investigation and will be reporting to appropriate authorities a series of violations as discussed in the Procurement Activities section below. To ensure these violations do not continue, enhanced budgetary monitoring processes are required. Additionally, in our review of the Statement of Budgetary Resources, we compared balances in budgetary accounts to their related proprietary accounts. Based on our review and discussions with management, we noted differences of $794 million that could not be explained.
The audit is full of other bad news for Americans, whose health care will increasingly be subject to the whims of a woefully poorly run department. Ernst & Young found that HHS is using 1980s-era technology, with financial management systems not compliant with the “Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996”, that weaknesses in technology could “pose a significant risk” in terms of exposed data, and that a full $1.8 Billion are stuck in old HHS accounts, hanging in limbo. $1.8 Billion! Yes — can you believe it? — we’re trusting these folks to manage our health care.
But hey, let’s accentuate the positive: if Obama could manage to do his job of running the government, and get Sec. Kathleen Sebelius to do her job and get her books straightened out, he could double his recommended budget cuts!