The MDHS Scandal and the Need for Whistleblower Laws

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Bigger Pie Forum | The MDHS Scandal and the Need for Whistleblower Laws | Guest Contributor
 
Ashby Foote’s  comments on Mississippi’s need for whistleblower laws,  “DHS Scandal – The dark specter of crony corruption once again lingers over Mississippi’s Capitol.  The latest scandal involves the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the embezzlement of millions of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) dollars – and still counting – that were intended to benefit those that need it most.  The investigation by the State Auditor continues.  So far it appears that more than $4 million of federal funds were taken by intermediaries in a process that has clearly failed the state and its citizens.   This very sad story begs many questions.  Where is the oversight of elected officials?  Where is the stewardship of appointed officials?  Where are the whistleblower laws that would encourage, protect and incentivize whistleblowers to provide sunshine from the grassroots level and from inside state agencies?  This latest scandal from DHS is further evidence fraud is costing Mississippi tens of millions of dollars and greatly diminishing the services that the state can deliver to its citizens.  State government needs to take a lesson from the Feds and other states by implementing strong whistleblower laws.”
Below is David Dunbar’s article that ran a few years back in the Clarion Ledger that gives us an overview of laws that could prevent another MDHS scandal.
Mississippi needs a False Claims Act and Qui Tam Statute
by David C. Dunbar
A. General overview of qui tam statutes and false claims acts.
Qui tam statutes empower the public to deter fraud against the government by authorizing individuals, known as relators, to bring lawsuits on behalf of the government against people or corporations who have committed the fraud. These lawsuits are also known as whistleblower lawsuits.
False claims and qui tam statutes

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