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Letters | Welfare audit finds abuses

Systemwide reform needed

State Auditor Suzanne Bump again demonstrates the depth of her worth. Her office’s evaluation of the Department of Transitional Assistance is another example of the office’s professionalism and dedication to the taxpayers of Massachusetts.

The audit findings of waste in the welfare system were appalling. There is about $18 million for which the department cannot fully account or that was issued in the name of deceased people.

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Think of the many worthy families that may have been lifted out of poverty with this money.

The study makes it clear that end-of-the-line control measures, such as limits on cash advances, will do nothing to stop fraud and misuse if cards are issued to dead people. The department must make systemwide, fundamental changes in its operation.

The interim commissioner of the department has outlined her plan to address these serious issues, and we all welcome her goal for real change within 100 days.

However, when it comes to reform, we should follow the advice of President Ronald Reagan: Trust, but verify.

Sherry Costa Hanlon


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