McGuiness recaps a productive 2021


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As 2021 draws to a close, my office celebrates progress and achievements. More than a year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to adjust to a new normal, I am proud to highlight some of the initiatives my office has produced. Each engagement continued my office’s mission of making sure you get a fair deal.

In March 2021, the federal government passed the American Rescue Plan Act, and Delaware received an unprecedented $ 1.25 billion in COVID relief. Unlike the CARES Act, most of these funds were distributed directly to counties, towns and school districts. In an effort to ensure transparency and encourage accountability for the $ 1.25 billion spending, I started Project: Gray Fox. Gray Fox is a simple, consistent American Rescue Plan Act fund tracking system and can be viewed by visiting auditor.delaware.gov. The online transparency portal shows Delawarens not only how much money has been given to each entity, but how the money is spent in such detail that it can be used for US Treasury reporting requirements for all municipalities except six. Although entities have up to three years to spend ARPA funds, the Delawaren deserve to sit at the table to see how this money is spent in their communities.

In the first six months of 2021, I identified $ 111.6 million in efficiency savings, excessive government spending, and potential tax revenue.

The lack of transparency and accountability in drug pricing, which could cost taxpayers millions, has played a role in the growing conversation in Delaware about the predatory practices of pharmacy benefit managers and their crippling effect on independent pharmacies and retailers. small businesses in Delaware. The report, which underscored the importance of incorporating the skills of subject matter experts when the state negotiates contracts, called on the former PBM for Delaware state employees and retirees to reimburse 24, $ 5 million. As a pharmacist and statewide elected official, I continue to lend my support to lobby for federal legislation regarding pharmacy benefit managers.

Millions of savings on pharmaceuticals are possible in Delaware correctional facilities without compromising on services. I have looked at the model now used by the Corrections Department to purchase prescription drugs for Delaware inmates. My office estimated that Delaware taxpayers could have saved up to $ 44.1 million over seven years for pharmacy services. This would have cut their annual budget for pharmacy services by almost half. Millions of revenues expected from the legalization of marijuana in Delaware have underscored the tax benefits of taxing and regulating adult marijuana. If Delaware adopts a regulatory framework similar to other states that have legalized, we could see more than $ 43 million in tax revenue for the state, not including the additional economic benefits and cost savings resulting from the end. of the ban.

These three reports alone identified over 41 times my office’s general fund budget of $ 2.7 million.

My office continues to work with multiple states and agencies while working diligently to ensure that we align with nationally established best practices. Recently, Oversight.gov, a website that contains publicly available reports, investigations, and recommendations from state and local governments across the country, ranked your office as the # 2 auditor nationwide for reporting totals. Over the past year, the Delaware auditor’s office has led the country in its transparency efforts by submitting more reports to Oversight.gov than the following four states and agencies combined.

In its year-end report, the Government Efficiency and Accountability Review Board highlighted the role of the auditor’s office in ensuring transparency and good governance for all Delawarens. The report stated: “An establishment with a full staff and [Office of Auditor of Accounts] would serve all state agencies by allowing its auditors to identify cost savings to them through our engagements. “

My new initiative, the Follow-up Program, aims to recognize agencies that join and apply recommendations to improve performance. By using the results as an opportunity to improve, my office will be able to track the growth in transparency and accountability across the state. Several agencies are currently participating in this program, and their successes will be announced in early 2022.

2021 was the year of collaboration for my office. From the introduction of the Project: Gray Fox transparency portal to participating in national initiatives, the Office of the Auditor has had one of the most successful years in recent memory.

I am grateful for the hard work and dedication of my staff and look forward to an equally, if not more, memorable year.

Kathy mcguiness
Statutory auditor
Rehoboth Beach

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