New executive director of MDHS outlines changes since massive fraud case

Bob Anderson says former Executive Director John Davis treated taxpayer money like it was his own

New executive director of MDHS outlines changes since massive fraud case

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Bob Anderson, who has been on the job for two months, participated in Governor Tate Reeves daily COVID-19 briefing Monday.

Anderson is the new Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services. He said in spite of the coronavirus pandemic, MDHS has continued to work to help those in need in the state.

Anderson also addressed charges against former Executive Director, John Davis.

Davis was the Executive Director of MDHS. New Executive Director Bob Anderson says an audit released Monday clearly demonstrates the amount of damage and coercion perpetrated by Davis.
Davis was the Executive Director of MDHS. New Executive Director Bob Anderson says an audit released Monday clearly demonstrates the amount of damage and coercion perpetrated by Davis. (Source: Mississippi Department of Human Services)

“It was very obvious that the former Executive Director John Davis treated the money of this agency as if it were his. If you look at the single audit report you will see how many different ways Mr. Davis treated the agency’s money, your money, taxpayer money as if it were his," Anderson said.

Anderson also outlined some of the changes since the massive fraud case and scandal.

  • The State TANF Plan has been rewritten to include the stipulation that no TANF funds will be dispersed ​to non-state agencies without going through the ​competitive procurement process.
  • The agency’s Subgrantee Manual has been revised to strengthen controls, to include requiring general ledgers to be included with all outcome reporting, mandating that ​financial monitoring visits be conducted ​annually.
  • Risk assessments are now performed before subgrants are awarded.
  • Programmatic monitoring will be conducted on a minimum of bi-annual basis.
  • Subgrantees are all given training at the State Office to make sure they have a clear understanding of the agency’s expectations of them and how they can ensure they meet all federal guidelines.
  • Technical assistance is provided to high risk or any other subgrantees who request such.
  • MDHS created the Office of Inspector General to coordinate Internal Audit and Investigations to best identify and eliminate any potential cases of fraud or criminal activity.
  • Subgrantees now receive claim reimbursement instead of cash advances after initial draw. This allows MDHS to determine how the funds are being spent before we disperse the funds.
  • TANF sub-grantees are now required to submit programmatic reports by the 10th of each month that details individuals served, and services received. No reimbursement claim form is processed until after programmatic reports are received.
  • Programmatic reports are required to contain unique identifying information to allow the agency to track long term outcomes for individuals served.

In responding to State Auditor Shad White, Anderson said John Davis circumvented internal controls set in place regarding procurement, monitoring and other allowable cost controls to direct monies to certain sub-recipients, who then directed federal monies to individuals associated with Davis.

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