In April 2021, the Mississippi Department of Human Services commissioned an external forensic audit to provide a clear picture the issues that had impacted the Department under previous leadership. This audit is meant to assist MDHS in rebuilding the trust of Mississippians and our federal partners. We are awaiting the third portion of the audit report that identifies the failures of the controls in place under previous leadership. The report will also share the progress that has been made in regards to controls put in place in March 2020 to rebuild the agency with transparency, integrity, and excellence.
Mississippi Department of Human Services is committed to rebuilding the trust of our clients, stakeholders, and citizens of Mississippi. The department’s framework, Operation Restore Trust, established the foundation for the continued rehabilitation of the mission for MDHS moving forward.
The Senior Leadership Team has been tasked with implementing three core values in restoring the public’s trust and in changing the culture of the agency:
- Integrity is modeled from the Executive Director’s office to the county offices to encompass the entire agency.
- Compliance, measured by full and complete agreement of our actions with our federal and state regulatory and statutory guidelines.
- Excellence, the direction the agency is moving, is a constant journey as we seek to improve our efficiency and effectiveness in every way possible.
The following steps are integral parts of moving the agency forward.
Completion of the Forensic Audit allows us to get a better handle on the actual amount of misspent or fraudulently expended funds related to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (“TANF”) program operated by the agency and any additional policies needed to move forward. In late April 2020, we issued a Request for Information (“RFI”) in conjunction with the State Auditor’s Office and, upon receipt of proposals, began scoring the applicants who submitted proposals. We selected CliftonLarsonAllen, the firm which has spent the last 10 months working on the forensic audit. The release of the audit on the website helps fulfill our promise of transparency.
MDHS has already implemented some of the audit firm’s recommendations. Moving forward, MDHS is committed to the process of continuous improvement of our internal controls and vigilant management of our external relations with subgrantees so that the abuses of the past will not be repeated.
Learn more about Operation Restore Trust