On November 14, 2013, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released an audit of a DPW program which followed complaints from consumers and their direct care workers about Financial Management Services in Office of Long Term Living (OLTL) and Office of Developmental (ODP) programs during the transition to a new statewide provider. DePasquale said the audit shows, “long-term mismanagement of home care worker payroll providers caused undue financial and emotional strain on tens of thousands of people. Thousands of workers had paychecks delayed for up to four months. Thousands of care recipients switched to a more expensive care model that is costing taxpayers at least $7 million annually.”
DPW had agreements with 36 different providers for payroll services of home care workers across the state. Auditors found that DPW did not adequately monitor these providers resulting in numerous instances of noncompliance with applicable state and federal laws, regulations, and financial services standards by some of the providers. DPW issued a request for applications in January 2012, and in August 2012 selected Public Partnerships Limited LLC (PPL), of Boston, Massachusetts. In January, the state transitioned from the 36 payroll providers to PPL.
The audit found that the new vendor was not prepared to pay all direct care workers by the January 1, 2013 deadline. The audit also found significant flaws in the procurement process used to select Public Partnerships Limited. “The fact that the procurement process was unfair to other vendors is nearly as disturbing as DPW’s disregard for the workers and home care participants harmed in this process,” DePasquale said.
The Department acknowledged that mistakes were made. But Secretary Beverly Mackereth said the department has worked hard to fix the problems so that now all validly submitted time sheets by workers are paid within two weeks of submission, which is the normal time frame for payment.
The report includes six findings and seven recommendations for DPW to implement to improve its oversight of home care worker payroll services.
read the full 95 page report