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For Immediate Release
November 16, 2016

Contact
Kathie Osterman, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-9313, kathie.osterman@nebraska.gov

DHHS Testifies Regarding Past Audit Findings, Outlines Improvements Underway

Lincoln—The Department of Health and Human Services today provided testimony to the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee on LR 580, highlighting improvements made during the past two years to audit processes, while describing audit findings the current administration inherited due largely to decisions made before 2015 and in some cases, going back as far as 2003.

Garet Buller, Internal Auditor with DHHS, said as DHHS’s new leadership delved into agency processes and procedures, it became clear there was an opportunity to improve the department’s audit activities.  It has since become a critical focus area and is included as a priority in the DHHS Business Plan.

“We continue to work through audit findings for actions that occurred in years past and are aware that more could be uncovered,” Buller said.  “We are working closely with our federal partners and we are providing a substantial amount of additional documentation that we believe will bring the potential of questioned costs down.  It is now our responsibility and we are committed to do all we can to mitigate potential disallowances from those years. ”

Due to the significance of past audit findings, the Department has made strategic changes during the past two years to better manage its programs and improve audit processes to prevent similar audit findings and disallowances in the future. 

Buller said these include developing a comprehensive internal review process, providing staff training on sub-recipient monitoring and the Single Audit process, documenting procedures, implementing internal control policies, reviewing program findings for enhancements across the agency, and making internal organization improvements regarding financial and audit staff. 
 
Buller assured the committee DHHS is committed to continued improvement in the audit process.

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