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Independent auditor probes spending of welfare dollars

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s independent auditor is questioning whether the state is ensuring that federal funding for low-income individuals is spent in line with the law.

State Auditor Pola Buckley last month submitted the annual audit to lawmakers. She said Maine received $3.1 billion in federal assistance in the fiscal year ending in mid-2018.

The audit said a lack of oversight over subcontractors could lead to ineligible groups benefiting from federal funds meant for low-income families.

The Department of Health and Human Services disagreed with the finding and said it didn’t have enough time to immediately track down evidence of such oversight.

The audit also highlighted 97 delay cases of potential fraud by Medicaid providers. The report warned such delays could mean fraud will remain undetected.

The department also disagreed with that finding.

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