Pa. auditor general: State agency can’t determine if it’s working

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania’s fiscal watchdog had tough words for state agencies that can help in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale also shared a personal story while he talked about how the state is fighting the problem.

“My dad served 8 1/2 years in prison for a drug conviction,” DePasquale said.

In a series of audits from 2013 through 2017 DePasquale’s office took a look at three state programs funded by taxpayers. His toughest critiques came when he talked about the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

“They were granting out money but not making sure that where they were granting out money was actually delivering the right results,” DePasquale said.

He noted that the department suffers from understaffing and underfunding.

DePasquale said some of the department’s substance abuse treatment facilities ignored national guidelines.

“You have some centers that I think were operating as if this was a matter that this was simply mind over chemicals,” he said.

The auditor general was also critical of the Department of Human Services and the Department of Corrections.

He said all three agencies agreed with his findings.

“It is important that we make sure every tax dollar spent to prevent abuse and treat people is spent wisely and effectively,” he said.

DePasquale also believes that medical marijuana can help fight the opioid epidemic.

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