Updated 2:48 p.m.
Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich is questioning millions of dollars of welfare payments made to low-income residents.
Schweich released an annual audit Tuesday examining Missouri's use of $12.7 billion of federal funds during the 2012 budget. He raised concerns about $68 million of expenses, mainly through programs run by the Department of Social Services.
(We have the full audit for you below)
As he has in the past, Schweich questioned whether some of Missouri's payments under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program were allowed under federal law. The department has said that they are.
Schweich says the department has had problems with keeping track of eligibility for the TANF program and work activity documentation.
The auditor also says the federal government has already indicated the department is subject to penalties of $44 million because of failing to meet work participation rates in previous years.
“So with the increasing pressures on federal budget I think you’re going to be seeing more federal enforcement action against states," Schweich says. "That’s why it’s more important than ever to maintain proper eligibility files and if you don’t there will be repercussions.”
Among other things, the audit also cited improper payments to some child care providers and noted that the state failed to perform annual eligibility verifications for some senior and elderly residents receiving home-based services.