The Department of Public Welfare (DPW) has enhanced its website in an attempt to clear up any confusion among Pennsylvania taxpayers. The extensive government transparency page explains and describes the inner workings of the DPW in detail.
The root of the confusion for Pennsylvania residents came from budget-related issues. It had been unclear as to how tax dollars were being spent and what they were being spent on.
Anne Bale, spokeswoman for the DPW, said many people have preconceived notions about how the department functions within its $27 billion budget. "It's information on how we spend our money, how our programs are run, and also a little bit of information about who is enrolled and who receives services from the Department of Public Welfare," Bale said.
Just last week the department revealed that 653 individuals receiving some sort of public assistance through the DPW have been found to be living in other states.
The department said it will save taxpayers $900,000 a year by eliminating fraudulent accounts.
Information on the new transparency page includes fees, set by the department, to pay doctors and suppliers, provider reimbursement rates, facility audits, and benefit enrollment data. It took about six months to compile the page, but Bale said it will never really be finished.
"There will probably always be things that people will point out to us that will be good to put up there, so we are interested in hearing what else can be included, what people would like to see as part of our website and how we can better help people better understand the department," Bale said.
Existing information such as budget figures, extensive statistical data, facility inspection results, and legislative testimony has been updated and included as well.