Auditor McGuiness: Volunteer Fire Service Saved Delawareans $255.7M for FY21, Annual Fire Report Shows

DOVER, DEL. – State Auditor Kathy McGuiness estimates the state’s volunteer fire service saved Delaware taxpayers nearly $255.7 million in fiscal year 2021.

“Delaware’s fire service is, and always has been, a tremendous asset to Delawareans,” McGuiness said. “As my team does every year, they performed a detailed cost analysis and identified what it would cost taxpayers to have an entirely state-employed fire service instead of having mostly volunteers.”

While the state has no plans to transform Delaware’s combination system into an entirely state-employed one, McGuiness’ office performs these calculations annually to show the fiscal value of having dedicated volunteer firefighters and EMTs.

“If the state were to have a fully state-employed fire service, it would cost Delawareans an exorbitant amount in property taxes,” McGuiness said. “For every $1,000 of a home’s assessed value, those residents would pay an additional $10.51. That means for a home assessed at $100,000, it would cost those residents an additional $1,051 in property taxes each year – just to support a fully state-employed fire service.”

McGuiness again recommends in this year’s report that the General Assembly consider creating a fund independent of Grant-In-Aid in the state budget to help pay for fire services.

“It takes adequate training, funding and resources to protect the public,” McGuiness continued. “To keep pace with call volume, career and volunteer fire service members need our support in ensuring proper funding to continue the long-standing and proud tradition the fire service has in Delaware.”

Read the Delaware Volunteer Fire Service Report by clicking here. Learn more about the Delaware Auditor’s Office at https://auditor.delaware.gov.

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Contact:        

Anna Nuzzolese, Executive Assistant

Anna.nuzzolese@delaware.gov

302-857-3907


Auditor McGuiness’ Office Ranks No. 2 Nationally with Reports on Oversight.gov

DOVER, DEL. – The Delaware State Auditor’s Office has been ranked No. 2 on the list of Top 6 Agencies with Reports on Oversight.gov.

“My office works diligently, with a fixed determination, to provide independent, objective oversight of the state government’s use of taxpayer dollars,” Auditor Kathy McGuiness said. “It is a proud moment when you see the difference your efforts have made. I’m excited to keep with this momentum and continue serving the great State of Delaware.”

Alongside the Delaware Auditor’s Office, the top six agencies are Oregon’s Secretary of State (Audits Division), Indiana Office of the Inspector General, Chicago Office of the Inspector General, Arlington County Auditor, and Florida’s Office of the Chief Inspector General. Collectively, a total of 381 reports have been submitted, with Delaware’s Auditor’s Office accounting for 115 of those reports.

“Since the inception of the Oversight.gov State/Local page, the Delaware State Auditor has been one of our most active participants,” said spokesperson Shiji Thomas of the National Science Foundation Office of the Inspector General, who oversees the project. “Kathy McGuiness and her team provided critical support right from the start. Through the development and pilot phases, McGuiness’ team worked closely with the Oversight.gov team to make the page a reality.

“We are grateful for the contributions the Delaware State Auditor has made for the Oversight community.”

Oversight.gov is a website that contains publicly accessible reports, investigations and recommendations from state and local inspection offices. The site is managed by the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency and is frequently updated by the Inspector Generals.

You can discover local and state offices’ recent data, trending reports and summaries at oversight.gov.

Learn more about the Delaware Auditor’s Office at https://auditor.delaware.gov.

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Contact:        

Anna Nuzzolese, Executive Assistant

Anna.nuzzolese@delaware.gov

302-857-3907

 


Auditor McGuiness Named Pharmacist of the Year

NEWARK-   State Auditor Kathy McGuiness was honored as “Delaware’s Pharmacist of the Year” by the Delaware Pharmacist Society (DPS) at their annual conference in Newark. Founded in 1886 as a non-profit, professional association for pharmacists in the State of Delaware, DPS advocates on behalf of its members and promotes public health through the practice of pharmacy.

“It is an honor to be presented with the Pharmacist of the Year Award,” said McGuiness. “This past year has truly highlighted the role pharmacists play as a resource to a community’s health and I am proud to work alongside so many talented, caring individuals.”

McGuiness, a licensed immunizing pharmacist and the highest state-elected pharmacist in the country, has released three special reports so far on the impact that PBMs are having in Delaware. These reports – titled “Lack of Transparency & Accountability in Drug Pricing Could be Costing Taxpayers Millions”, “Millions in Pharmaceutical Savings are Achievable Within Delaware’s Correctional Facilities Without Compromising Service”, and “Predatory Practices: Survey Says Middlemen Destroying Delaware’s Independent Pharmacies” – have garnered national attention and helped to shine a light on how PBMs have overcharged Delaware taxpayers by millions of dollars.

“As a pharmacist, I have seen firsthand the impact high drug prices have on families,” McGuiness said. “People are regularly forced to choose between putting food on the table and affording their life-saving medications.”

McGuiness, a 1997 Bowl of Hygeia recipient, was honored in October among other award recipients, including: Tom Kolowski (Harry C. Zeisig Award), Megan Wiley (Bowl of Hygeia Award), Wendy Bailey (Friend of Pharmacy Award), Brandy Willey (Young Pharmacist Award), Chai Gadde (Excellence in Innovation Award) and Rachel Philipp (Pharmacy Technician of the Year).

“Pharmacists have the unique ability of being analytical and having a scientific mind while also being compassionate and having empathy,” McGuiness said. “If the last year and a half has proven anything, it is that even when many do not trust their governments, they trust their pharmacists. We are the first line of defense.”

For more information about the Delaware State Auditor’s Office, visit: https://auditor.delaware.gov/.

For more information about the Delaware Pharmacists Society, visit: http://www.dpsrx.org/~dpsrxorg/

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Contact:

Anna Nuzzolese, Executive Assistant

302-857-3907

Anna.Nuzzolese@delaware.gov 


Auditor McGuiness Offers Fraud Detection, Reporting Advice as Delaware Celebrates Third Fraud Awareness Week

DOVER, DEL. – This week marks the beginning of Delaware’s third Fraud Awareness Week, which Governor John C. Carney initiated in 2019 at State Auditor Kathy McGuiness’ request.

During Delaware’s Fraud Awareness Week, which overlaps with International Fraud Awareness Week, McGuiness is encouraging state agencies and organizations to take time to increase employee awareness about fraud prevention, detection, and reporting.

“Learning how to report fraud when it occurs is one of the most important first steps,” McGuiness said. “In 2019, we developed the first app for fraud in Delaware, and community members and employees continue to be one of the greatest resources for fraud detection.”

Education and awareness of fraud prevention are essential for reducing the occurrence of fraud against and within Delaware state government. All levels of government are frequent targets of fraud attempts, and such instances undermine the good work and reputation of government employees. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), instances of fraud have exacerbated due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our Fraud Hotline team has fielded and responded to thousands of calls about suspected fraud, waste and abuse,” McGuiness said. “In fact, there have been over 1,000 communications in fiscal year 2021 alone.”

To report fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars, visit fraud.delaware.gov or call the toll-free fraud hotline at 1-800-55-FRAUD.

Learn more about the Delaware State Auditor’s Office at auditor.delaware.gov.

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Contact:

Anna Nuzzolese, Executive Assistant

Anna.nuzzolese@delaware.gov

302-857-3907


Auditor McGuiness Applauds Career and Technical Education Programs

DOVER, DELAWARE – Recent financial audits of Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs for eight of Delaware’s school districts showed all districts spent funds they received for the programs appropriately, State Auditor Kathy McGuiness said today. Cape Henlopen, Laurel, Appoquinimink, Lake Forest, Milford, New Castle County Vocational Technical School, Smyrna, and Woodbridge were randomly selected for the occupational-vocational program financial audits, as is required by Delaware code.

“I would like to congratulate all eight school districts for a job well done, and for allocating the funds for CTE programs in a way that provides maximum value to Delaware’s students,” McGuiness said. “Career and Technical Education programs play a significant role in preparing young Delawareans for the workforce, especially for occupations that are in high demand.”

The audit examined spending for Career and Technical Education programs for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019.

The Delaware Auditor’s Office is legislatively mandated to periodically audit CTE programs per 14 Del. C. §1706.

 

To read the Appoquinimink School District audit click here.

To read the Cape Henlopen School District audit click here.

To read the Lake Forest School District audit click here.

To read the Laurel School District audit click here.

To read the Milford School District audit click here.

To read the New Castle County Vocational Technical School audit click here.

To read the Smyrna School District audit click here.

To read the Woodbridge School District audit click here.

Learn about the Delaware Auditor’s Office at https://auditor.delaware.gov.

 

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Contact:

Anna Nuzzolese, Executive Assistant

302-857-3907

Anna.Nuzzolese@delaware.gov