WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Lisa McClain (R-MI) sent the following letter to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer expressing serious concerns involving potential fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars.
The report released by the Michigan Auditor General details Michigan’s lack of emergency procurement policies and procedures prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As elected officials, we are entrusted by the public to protect their hard-earned tax dollars from waste and abuse,” said Rep. McClain. “This report raises serious red flags over Michigan’s preparedness and I look forward to Gov. Whitmer explaining the action her administration is taking to ensure any wrongdoing is uncovered.”
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Governor Whitmer,
I write to you today concerning your administration’s handling of taxpayer dollars and the potential of fraud and abuse of our fellow Michiganders. A recent report from Michigan’s Auditor General has raised serious concerns with your Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB) during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Detailed in the report, Auditor General Doug Ringer said, “DTMB did not have comprehensive emergency procurement policies and procedures in place prior to the COVID-19 emergency, resulting in increased risks for fraud, waste and loss of funds.” The report highlights that procurement purchasing card, which was used to make $35.2 million in emergency purchases, was shared amongst staff at DTMB, rather than controlled by one individual. The State of Michigan Administrative Guide to State Government procedure authorizes only the employee whose name appears on the procurement card to initiate a transaction with the card.
As elected officials, we are entrusted by the public to protect their hard-earned tax dollars from waste and abuse. I am requesting a response to the following questions no later than March 1, 2021:
- Who at DTMB gave the authorization for multiple employees to make purchases with the procurement card?
- How will you and your administration increase oversight and protections from fraudulent spending in the Michigan procurement program?
- Has your administration begun an investigation into DTMB’s lack of emergency procurement procedures?
- Has your administration taken any employment action against anyone due to their inappropriate handling of Michigan taxpayer dollars?
I look forward to your responses and working together to ensure the people of Michigan have faith in their government, at all levels, during this unprecedented time.
Member of Congress
 Ringler, Doug A. Performance Audit: COVID-19 Expenditures. Office of the Auditor General, Jan. 2021, audgen.michigan.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/r000200020C-0707.pdf.