St. Mary's County Times December 07, 2017 - Page 5

Thursday, December 7, 2017 The County Times Local News 5 State MVA, Social Services Faulted by State Audits By Guy Leonard Staff Writer Dual state audits have found serious deficiencies in some of the operations of both the Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and the Social Services Administration, which is overseen by the Department of Human Services. Specifically, the report from the Office of Leg- islative Audits shows that while the MVA policed itself in finding that it issued 270 fraudulent and federally non-compliant drivers licenses or iden- tification cards, based on counterfeit documents at one branch over a six month period, it did not expand its investigation to all of its branches. Moreover, MVA did not change or alter its in- ternal procedures to ensure such problems did not arise again. The report noted that Maryland law allowed MVA to issue federally non-compliant products to people who did not have the right to live in the United States as long as they had filed a state in- come tax return. The audit stated that further investigation into fraudulently obtained products such as licenses was warranted. “The MVA takes the issue of fraud very seri- ously,” the MVA stated in a response to the audit. “The … MVA already identified and immediately took administrative action against the employees who did not follow the required procedures of en- suring the customer had an appointment, which enforces a unique comptroller number.” A similar audit aimed at the Social Services Ad- ministration found that it had not instituted proper quality assurance programs to monitor child wel- fare programs were being administered properly by local social services branches. The audit found that oversight was either insuf- ficient or non-existent for areas such as foster care placement records, medical and dental exams for foster children, school attendance, child abuse and neglect investigations and others. The audit also delved into many other deficiencies. In its response to the audit, the Social Services Administration stated it agreed with some of its assessments but disagreed with the report on the whole. “DHS is not in agreement with either OLA’s overall conclusion that SSA had no established a comprehensive quality assurance program to en- sure that child welfare programs were being prop- erly administered by the [local social services de- partments] or with OLA’s rating of unsatisfactory for accountability and compliance,” the statement reads. Th ere’s a reason why they hired the Brooks and Barbour Team! Karen Alford Brooks CELL: 301-481-0644 Lucy Barbour CELL: 301-904-9914 Brooks & Barbour CENTURY 21 New Millenium Call US! 23063 Th ree Notch Rd. California, MD 20619 Offi ce: 301-862-2169 Fax: 301-862-2179