Fishman v. Bump Head to Head

The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts has put online their Voter Guide.  Have you seen how the top two candidates compare?  The source for the answers listed below is online at https://informedvoterma.org/

 
Are there specific areas you can identify to reform state bureaucracy that will save tax dollars, increase transparency, and prevent fraud?

"Why would we elect a Republican or Democrat to audit Republicans and Democrats? Professional politicians view political payroll as patronage. Audits are supposed to be neutral, and the Auditor should be as well. In particular overtime pay is being greatly abused. The data will show the state can save money by being adequately staffed rather than paying so much overtime. Rs and Ds look the other way when an agency is staffed by friends of large political donors. I will audit impartially."

"I believe we need to focus on combating the rising cost of health care. Taxpayers need an advocate to hold providers accountable and identify improvements within MassHealth. The auditor’s office can use its data analytics tools to further examine ways to increase efficiency and decrease spending."

How can the office of the auditor help identify, prevent, and protect state agencies from cyber scammers?

"All state agencies should be required to use 2 Factor Authentication, (2FA) have encrypted drives and be routinely subjected to internally based "white hat" hack attempts so they are prepared for the real thing. The industry standard is to send hacking emails to employees and then require the people who click on them to take an internet safety class. Implementing this is beyond the Constitutional scope of the Auditor's powers, but the Auditor could be involved in testing and compliance."

"Recognizing the growing cyber threats that target government entities, my office expanded our IT auditing capabilities to assist state government agencies in identifying and avoiding these bad actors. Our work has resulted in significant improvements that ensure agencies not only do not lose taxpayer dollars, but also do not inadvertently provide improper access to data."

Please identify specific inefficiencies and disparities in the state’s health care system and how they might be improved.

"One of the glaring inefficiencies right now is the lack of transparency in pricing. Not knowing how much a visit will costs can deter prevents from seeking treatment. Lack of cost transparency also stop patients from finding the best price even though that would save the system money. The auditor can analyze and report procedure costs, spending, and efficacy. Collecting the right data and making it available improves the system. As a computer scientist I am best able to implement this analysis."

"My office has tracked various impacts of the 2012 law intended to reduce cost and improve access to and the quality of health care. Our primary report was released last year and a follow-up is now being issued. The data make clear that there are underserved populations, and that racial disparities are persistent, not just among MassHealth members, but across the general population. Our MassHealth audit unit is continuously working in this area."

How would you address the problem of unfunded mandates imposed by the state on cities and towns?

"The Auditor should strive to provide cost estimates BEFORE mandates are forced on taxpayers. The auditor must fight all legislation that has not had a complete cost analysis performed, regardless which party sponsored the bill. This is a function that neither an R nor a D can perform in a nonpartisan fashion. Rs and Ds are playing political football with taxpayer money. The Auditor is meant to be the referee. The referee shouldn't be wearing a jersey of one of the teams."

"In addition to the OSA’s auditing mandate, we are partners with local governments in ensuring state government meets its obligations to local property taxpayers. The legal decisions and financial analyses conducted by our Division of Local Mandates, combined with strategic relationships with legislators, local government officials and advocacy groups, has resulted in state funding for local implementation of the early voting law and for costs associated with educating homeless children."

What are your two top priorities for the next four years as auditor?

"The auditor is required to audit every state agencies once every 3 years. This is not currently happening. My top priority will be to identify the agencies that have gone the longest without an audit and audit them immediately. My second priority will be to enable automated auditing by reporting the bank account activity of every state agency daily and publishing it online. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Let the people and press see the how, where and when of each agency's spending."

"My top two priorities are challenging state agencies to break down silos that prevent them from adequately serving the residents of the Commonwealth, and develop new solutions to old challenges. I particularly want to help government use the data at its disposal to improve service delivery. Using our new risk detection capabilities, I will focus on agencies whose operations are wasting public resources and/or failing to deliver promised services."

 

 

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