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Tuesday, September 16, 2014         

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Millions mismanaged in HI-5 recycling program, auditor says

By Rob Perez

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Longstanding problems with the state's beverage container recycling program continue to result in overpayments of millions of taxpayer dollars, exposing the operation to abuse and possible fraud and undermining its financial viability, according to a new state audit.

The report released Tuesday by acting Auditor Jan K. Yamane was highly critical of the way the Department of Health program is run and noted that systemic flaws, including ineffective inspection and enforcement functions, continue to plague it despite being identified in previous state audits.

From fiscal 2010 through 2012, for instance, the program paid $6.2 million in deposit refunds for nearly 7.5 million pounds of materials that cannot be accounted for, the report noted.

"Management has known about its flawed payment system for years but has done little to address the defect," the report said.






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