Payroll Glitches Left Pennsylvania Welfare Workers Unpaid for 4 Months
The botched rollout of the Department of Public Welfare's effort to consolidate payroll services for home health-care workers for the disabled led to thousands of those employees going unpaid for as long as four months this year and cost taxpayers millions in extra care costs, according to a new audit.
The report, released Thursday by state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, examined a December 2012 decision by then-DPW Secretary Gary Alexander to cancel 36 state-based contracts for payroll services to those workers who provide long-term care for the disabled and award a single contract to Boston-based Public Partnerships Ltd.
DePasquale said the agency's mismanagement of the transition led to financial and emotional hardship for as many as 20,000 disabled Pennsylvanians and roughly an equal number of the workers who earn from $8 to $15 an hour to care for them. Some even lost their homes, he said.
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