Pa. Auditor General: Welfare Office Won’t Turn Over Records For Benefit Cards

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Pennsylvania’s Auditor General says he’s being stonewalled by Welfare Department officials as he attempts to determine if the state’s electronic welfare benefit cards are being used improperly.

Auditor General Jack Wagner says much of the resistance he encountered was during the Rendell administration, but as recently as April of this year, his auditors were rebuffed in the effort to get information about electronic benefit transfer cards from the Department of Welfare.

Governor Corbett says that’s news to him, “That’s the first I’ve heard. He hasn’t bothered to pick up the phone and tell me that. And I had a conversation with him last week.”

Auditor General Wagner says that more than 90,000 purchases or cash withdrawals totaling $5.2 million were made outside of Pennsylvania in May of 2010, but, because he can’t get the records, he can’t determine the legality of the transfers. Governor Corbett, meanwhile, says there has been a significant drop-off in claims because welfare rules are being better enforced, but he could not put a dollar figure on that trend.

Reported by Harrisburg Bureau Chief Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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