State Auditor Kathy McGuiness and Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro Partner for a Fraud Town Hall

DOVER, DELAWARE – Delaware State Auditor Kathy McGuiness and Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro together will host a virtual Fraud Town Hall via Facebook live on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 beginning at 3:00 pm.

The Auditor’s Office and the Department of Insurance want to jointly raise awareness of the types of fraud schemes both agencies regularly encounter and ways consumers can protect themselves from becoming victims.

“Over the past several months, we’ve seen an increase in fraud complaints brought on by the coronavirus pandemic,” said State Auditor Kathy McGuiness. “Our responsibility as a watchdog is to ensure proper safeguards and internal controls are in place to combat it.”

“As the largest consumer protection office in the state, the Department of Insurance reviews more than 525 fraud referrals a year, filing 531 civil and 15 criminal cases last year,” said Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro. “With new technologies entering the insurance and healthcare arena, and Open Enrollment for Medicare and the Affordable Care Act taking place in the coming months, it is more important than ever that we work together to detect, prevent, and respond to fraud.”

Delawareans are understandably fearful of the repercussions from the health and economic crisis and rightfully want to know what their elected officials are doing to protect them from fraud and scams. The Fraud Town Hall will provide them answers.

Watch live at FB.me/DeTv302.

Learn about the Delaware Auditor’s Office and Department of Insurance online at https://auditor.delaware.gov and https://insurance.delaware.gov/.

Contact: Alaina Sewell, Executive Assistant, Alaina.Sewell@delaware.gov, 302-857-3931

 


State Auditor Kathy McGuiness Announces Formation of Auditor’s Office Follow-Up Program

DOVER, DELAWARE –Delaware State Auditor Kathy McGuiness announced the creation of a program to work with agencies that have received audit recommendations toward compliance. Reports from the State Auditor can identify opportunities for the State of Delaware to improve the way we do business. After engaging with several states about their process for achieving results, Auditor McGuiness implemented the Follow-Up Program to align the office with industry national best practices and best serve citizens of Delaware.

The Delaware State Auditor’s Follow-Up Program will identify and track audit recommendations, inform the auditee of the follow-up process and document auditee responses, corrective actions and expected implementation dates for use in future work.

“A misconception people have about the Auditor’s Office is that we’re to be feared and get agencies in trouble,” McGuiness said. “But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Our office isn’t a ‘gotcha’ office. We’re here to improve government efficiency and save taxpayer money, and should be viewed as an integral partner to good governance,” said McGuiness.

The Follow-Up Program will serve as a valuable tool to track which agencies are adhering to our recommendations and making improvements to enhance performance, ultimately ensuring Delawareans their tax dollars are being well spent.

Learn about the Delaware Office of the Auditor of Accounts online at https://auditor.delaware.gov

Contact: Alaina Sewell, Executive Assistant, Alaina.Sewell@delaware.gov, 302-857-3931

 


State Auditor McGuiness Announces Creation of a National COVID-19 Data Quality Audit Template

DOVER, DELAWARE – Delaware State Auditor Kathy McGuiness today announced the creation of a national COVID-19 Data Quality Audit template developed as part of a multistate effort to review state COVID-19 data reporting and monitoring. The first-of-its-kind project to create an audit framework for states to follow was conceived through collaboration with fiscal watchdogs from five states – Delaware, Florida, Mississippi, Ohio and Pennsylvania – and with assistance from the National State Auditors Association.

“I saw variation in the reporting and monitoring of COVID-19 cases by states nationally and felt it was important to have a consistent tool for states to easily review and share information about how their state’s approach to data use informs COVID-19 mitigation efforts,” said Delaware State Auditor McGuiness. It’s an issue every state is grappling with during this pandemic, and I’m proud to lead this effort toward a universal goal.”

The other four states in the task force wanted a uniform instrument to assess the data used to guide states’ virus responses.

“Florida values collaboration with other state auditors on topics of great importance, such as COVID-19 data reporting and monitoring. The audit template is an important tool that will facilitate the gathering and sharing of critical information,” said Florida Auditor General Sherrill Norman.

“Americans need access to relevant, accurate data that they can trust and understand as they make decisions that impact their families. By adding consistency to the data gathering process and implementing best practices from across the nation, we can help provide clarity and confidence in the COVID-19 statistics that are being shared. Americans must be able to trust the data, so they can trust the resulting policies,” said Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber.

“Mississippi is proud to participate in knowledge sharing among auditors during this pandemic. It’s more critical than ever that we collectively share best practices,” said State Auditor Shad White.

“The goal is to help states increase the accuracy of data collection and interpretation, and to apply analytical techniques to improve our understanding of the pandemic’s progression,” said Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. “By adopting a standardized approach to state-level reviews, we can help ensure consistency so that public health officials have access to the most reliable information.”

Ten other fiscal watchdogs in Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Tennessee and three states requesting not to be named as well the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have expressed interest in using the template to take a closer look at their state’s or territory’s data. Results will be released once completed.

“Knowing the quality of the information states collect, report and monitor will go a long way in allowing policymakers and public health officials to improve their efforts to protect the public and limit virus spread,” McGuiness said.

 

Learn about the Delaware Office of the Auditor of Accounts online at https://auditor.delaware.gov

Contact: Alaina Sewell, Executive Assistant, Alaina.Sewell@delaware.gov, 302-857-3931


State Auditor Reports on First 100 Days in Office

April 11, 2019 (Dover, DE) – State Auditor Kathleen (Kathy) McGuiness issued a report detailing her first 100 days in office. In it, she outlined a long list of measures taken since her inauguration designed to reset the Auditors Office to function and operate in a manner that best serves Delaware taxpayers.

“Delaware’s Constitution imparts important responsibilities to the State Auditors Office, responsibilities designed to contribute to the state’s fiscal health,” McGuiness said. “By ensuring tax dollars are spent in the manner intended, it gives confidence to Delawareans, businesses and credit rating organizations that our state’s financial house is in order.”

During McGuiness’ first 100 days in office, she focused on 1) addressing the erosion she discovered upon taking office, 2) building on the office’s mission of combating fraud, waste and abuse, and 3) serving as a resource for the state by

• restructuring the office;
• restoring resources to the office;
• re-examining how the office functions; and,
• restarting active community outreach.

McGuiness’ report discusses measures found within each initiative area. For example, she has prioritized completing and releasing unpublished investigations she inherited, began a recruitment program to address the 50% staff vacancy rate, cancelled unnecessary contracts, upgraded office technology, and begun an aggressive outreach program to raise awareness of the Auditors Office.

Continuing on the theme to reset the office, McGuiness decided last year to take the initiative to audit the Auditors Office.

“I contracted with a private auditing firm, one that never did business with the Auditors Office, to examine all aspects of the office’s past and current operations and functions and then benchmark us against national standards and other state auditor offices,” McGuiness said. “Their report will identify the office’s strengths, opportunities to improve, and serve as a roadmap in our path to make the Auditors Office relevant again. When the report is finished, I will release its findings and recommendations,” added McGuiness.

Issuing a 100 day report is just the first milestone in making the Auditors Office relevant again. “I believe this office can do better…and will do better,” McGuiness stated. “It has to do better because its roles and responsibilities factor greatly into maintaining Delaware’s fiscal health and giving Delawareans confidence that their tax dollars are being spent properly.”


A copy of the 100 day report can be found at: https://auditor.delaware.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2019/04/final-100-days-report.pdf.