The Housing and Community Development Department filed reports on escrow accounts six months late and $194,000 supposed to go to housing was sent to the wrong state agency by a bank without efforts to recover it, state auditors found. Similar audits in past years had found the same problems with the escrow accounts.
When it comes to finding waste, fraud and abuse — or just plain old carelessness — within Maryland government, no agency does more than the Office of Legislative Audits – mainly because it’s their job.
Bruce Myers, 61, has headed the office for the last 15 years and was the deputy legislative auditor for 10 years before that. On Friday, he retired after 35 years of producing hundreds of audits that have generated familiar headlines over the years.
A year after a new law was signed prohibiting inmates from having access to people’s sensitive personal information, an audit found that inmates in Maryland Correctional Enterprises doing data entry could see some Social Security numbers.
Gov. Martin O’Malley told reporters Thursday that “yes, perhaps” tax hikes would be part of next year’s proposed budget as part of a “balanced approach,” but he declined to be more specific.
Auditors found that Morgan State University has a litany of problems with controlling spending on scholarships, research and development grants, and granting access to its computer systems – but on the whole, the university is doing much better.
Two employees stole thousands from the government departments where they worked, auditors say, and both were fired. One made $71,000 worth of unauthorized purchases with a government credit card from the Department of Natural Resources, and another took $12,500 in cash from the Division of Pretrial Detention and Services.
Severe problems with recordkeeping and computer systems kept the state’s Social Services Administration from following up on cases of abuse and neglect and led it to place children with caregivers who had histories of abuse and neglect. The failed systems also caused it to fall far behind in several federal benchmarks.