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DePasquale To Check If PA’s Child Abuse Hotline Agency Is Still Severely Understaffed

Kathleen J. Davis
90.5 WESA
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale on Thurday, August 24, 2018.

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said he plans to investigate if the state's child abuse hotline followed through on his office's recommendations to hire more staff. It's part of a plan announced Thursday to revisit nine previously audited state agencies.

In 2016, an audit of ChildLine found the agency was severely understaffed and let 42,000 calls about potential abuse go unanswered in one year.

"The Department says, and I hope they're right, that the percentage of unanswered phone calls has gone dramatically down and that they have bolstered the staff," DePasquale said. "We're going to make sure that's actually taking place."

DePasquale's office will also check in with the Department of Environmental Protection to see if it followed his recommendation to hire more staff. A 2014 audit revealed the department was ill-equipped to protect drinking water as the state's shale gas industry grew.

"We're going to see if they have hired the necessary people that we outlined to make sure that Pennsylvania's drinking water is appropriately protected," DePasquale said.

The Auditor General's office will also revisit the following audits:

  • The Department of Agriculture's dog-law enforcement
  • The Department of Community and Economic Development's job-creation programs
  • The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency's board makeup
  • The Department of Military and Veterans' Affaires waiting list for veterans' homes
  • The State Employee Retirement System's and Public School Employees' Retirement System's fund administration
  • The State System of Higher Educaction's Title IX and Clery Act
  • The status of untested rape tests in the commonwealth