Auditor McGuiness releases statement on Memorandum Opinion and Order ruling

DOVER, Del. – Delaware State Auditor Kathy McGuiness released a statement on Thursday in response to the Memorandum Opinion and Order from the court confirming the Auditor’s Office’s power to conduct performance audits.

Judge Karsnitz released his decision in the court case with the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services regarding the auditor’s office’s requests to audit Medicaid spending. The audit sought to determine if DHSS’ Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance complies with federal and state requirements, implements effective internal controls, and incorporated data integrity throughout the program.

McGuiness says that Medicaid spending accounts for nearly 20% of the state’s annual budget and that Delawareans deserve to know if Medicaid is complying with state and federal requirements when spending these funds.

She added that the Auditor’s Office regularly receives confidential data as part of its duties under Delaware Code, and the prior administration conducted an almost identical performance audit of Medicaid eligibility in 2014. McGuiness says that she and her staff received significant pushback and delays that undermine the independent audit process in the state.

She released the following statement:

“This performance audit was hindered by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and their insistence this audit was not within the Auditor’s scope of authority. My staff was forced to learn to draft a subpoena because the assigned attorney from the Department of Justice declined to provide my office legal representation on this matter. The DOJ initially refused to grant my office outside legal counsel forcing us to represent the office pro se.

I would like to thank Judge Karsnitz for his objective ruling confirming the scope of authority of the Auditor’s Office. I commend Governor John Carney for his judgment in granting the office independent outside legal counsel. I applaud the efforts of Luke Mette of Armstrong Teasdale LLP and his team for their outstanding legal expertise and presentation of the facts.”

The follow memorandum can be found here.

Categories: Delaware, Local News, Local Politics