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PA Dept. of Public Welfare recognized for efforts to cut waste

Written by Megan Lello and Radio Pennsylvania | Jul 29, 2012 11:35 AM

(Harrisburg) -- The state Department of Public Welfare has won a national award for its new program designed to help prevent waste, fraud, and abuse among welfare recipients and providers. It received the 2012 Innovation Award from the Kentucky-based Council of State Governments for its Enterprise Program Integrity Initiative. The department's Donna Kirker Morgan says the program, which started about nine months ago, analyzed DPW spending in a number of areas and tried to trim where it could. "We looked at out-of-state electronic benefit card access and use. New car allowances: We are looking at that in a new way and an enhanced way to make sure that the people who are getting that benefit are using that income, that is taxpayer dollars, for getting the jobs that we are hoping them to get," she says. Kirker Morgan says the initiative also helped expand auditing of welfare providers and cross-checked federal and state benefits paid to recipients. Kirker Morgan adds especially in today's tough economic times, it's important for the department to make sure it's getting the most out of the money it's spending.

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