Executive Order

Executive Order  No. 528: Establishing an anti-fraud, waste, and abuse task force

Date: 03/07/2011
Issuer: Timothy P. Murray, Acting Governor
Mass Register: No. 1179

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, state government is entrusted with the responsibility of providing economical and honest stewardship of taxpayers' dollars;

WHEREAS, it is incumbent on the leadership of state government to guard the use of taxpayers' dollars against fraud, waste and abuse, thereby preserving the integrity of programs;

WHEREAS, fraud, waste and abuse deprives the people of the Commonwealth of vital services and benefits;

WHEREAS, especially in the present difficult fiscal circumstances, reduction of fraud, waste and abuse will further guarantee effective use of taxpayers' dollars and ensure that services are available to those who are rightfully eligible;

WHEREAS, prevention of fraud, waste and abuse demands steadfast vigilance and the use of innovative strategies;
WHEREAS, collaboration among independent state agencies tasked with combating fraud, waste and abuse will increase the effectiveness of recovery and prevention efforts;

WHEREAS, identification of high yield targets for recovery and prevention efforts will result in maximum savings for taxpayers;

WHEREAS, universal best practice standards will result in the highest possible levels of revenue recovery and fraud prevention;

WHEREAS, focused trainings, educational materials and communications will assist in preventing fraud, waste and abuse;

WHEREAS, citizen engagement in the identification of fraud, waste and abuse is a critical element of effective recovery and prevention strategies;

WHEREAS, accurate income and asset verification of the beneficiaries of state programs that contain an income or asset eligibility requirement is essential to prevent misuse of taxpayers' dollars;

WHEREAS, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor have identified opportunities to build on existing government efforts to prevent and remedy fraud, waste and abuse;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Timothy P. Murray, Acting Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution, Part 2, c. 2, § 2, Art. III and Part 2, c. 2, § I, Art. I, do hereby order as follows:

Section 1. There shall be an Anti-Fraud, Waste and Abuse Task Force ("Task Force"), which shall:

  1. Provide a forum for exchange of information among state agencies actively involved in combating fraud, waste and abuse by vendors and recipients.
  2. Identify potential targets for collective anti-fraud efforts, such as public benefits programs.
  3. Assess existing investigative and enforcement methods in Massachusetts and other jurisdictions to formulate standards for best practices among state agencies in identifying and preventing fraud, waste and abuse.
  4. Engage in public outreach to:

a. Encourage the public to report evidence of fraud, waste and abuse, and

b. Reassure the public, and those doing business with the state, about efforts to safeguard the integrity of state programs.

Section 2. The Task Force shall be chaired by the Lieutenant Governor or his designee, and shall consist of the following members or their designees: the Secretary of Administration and Finance, the Attorney General, the Inspector General, the Comptroller, and the Auditor. The Executive Office for Administration and Finance shall staff the Task Force.

Section 3. The Task Force may form committees that include other agencies as the Lieutenant Governor deems necessary or advisable.

Section 4. To the extent consistent with federal and state law, state agencies shall condition receipt of state benefits that require income or asset eligibility upon an applicant's consent to agency verification of recipient income or assets through data-sharing with the Department of Revenue and other methods. Clear language granting this consent shall appear on all application forms for income or asset eligible state benefits.

Section 5. To the extent permitted by law, every agency within the Executive Branch shall make all reasonable efforts to cooperate with the Task Force and to furnish all information and assistance requested by the Task Force.

Section 6. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately and shall continue in effect until amended, superseded, or revoked by subsequent Executive Order.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 7th day of March in the year two thousand and eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred and thirty-five.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Secretary of the Commonwealth

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