BOSTON, Mass. /Massachusetts Newswire/ — Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today signed an Executive Order making the Anti-Fraud, Waste and Abuse Task Force permanent. “In partnership with a number of key state agencies, we have made significant progress in developing opportunities and solutions to eliminate fraud and wasteful spending,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray. “Our administration will use this task force to increase anti-fraud collaboration across agencies, and help prevent misuse of taxpayer dollars.”

“We are committed to stretching every taxpayer dollar as far as possible and rooting out fraud and eliminating waste in government ,” said Secretary Jay Gonzalez of the Executive Office of Administration and Finance. “We will hold those who abuse the system accountable and continue to change the way government does business.”

The Anti-Fraud, Waste and Abuse Task Force is chaired by Lieutenant Governor Murray, and is comprised of representatives from the Executive Office of Administration and Finance, and the Offices of the Attorney General, Inspector General, State Auditor and State Comptroller, each of which had previously been tasked with combating fraud, waste and abuse. By bringing together these key agencies, the Task Force will increase the effectiveness of recovery and prevention efforts, while also encouraging collaboration among independent state agencies.

The primary mission of the Task Force is to tackle issues surrounding fraud, waste and abuse and to identify potential targets for collective anti-fraud efforts, such as public benefits programs. In addition, it will assess existing investigative and enforcement methods to develop best practices among state agencies in identifying and preventing fraud, waste and abuse. The Task Force was originally proposed by the Patrick-Murray Administration and approved by the State Legislature in the Fiscal Year 2011 Budget.

Today’s Executive Order includes the establishment of a uniform consent clause to be included in all public assistance applications. The uniform consent clause will allow the providing agency access to income eligibility for public assistance which will help prevent misuse of taxpayer dollars. Applicants will be made aware by explicit language on the forms they fill out for public assistance.