State lawmakers have voted to audit the State's Department of Children and Families after a large foster care provider allegedly overcharged taxpayers by 6 million dollars.
The alleged problems at the Middleton-based Community Care Resources foster care company were actually discovered through one of the Department's internal audits. The company is alleged to have charged taxpayers for inflated salaries, expensive trips and maintenance on a fleet of expensive vehicles.
Community Care Resources has denied those charges and continues to operate while it fights them on appeal. That bothered some lawmakers on the legislature's Joint Audit Committee. But Department of Children and Families Secretary Eloise Anderson said her agency is following the law.
"One of the big issues that we have is the fact that we can revoke their license and wait, but they can still operate. I mean, you look at us and say, 'why are they still operating?', and we look at you and say, 'because that's what the statute said.'"
Republican Senator Robert Cowles, who co-chairs the legislature's audit committee, told Anderson he'd like to change that law.
The audit committee voted unanimously to proceed with an audit of DCF, even though it was through internal audits at the agency that the alleged troubles at Community Care Resources were discovered. DCF recently hired four new field auditors and has said it wants to systematically audit other foster care providers in Wisconsin.