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In contrast to Washington, Cuccinelli's office returns part of budget to General Assembly at end of each fiscal year
RICHMOND (September 30, 2013) - Today, Sept. 30, is the end of the federal fiscal year. The Washington Post reported yesterday that amid the financial problems of the federal government, federal agencies still go on their annual spending sprees to use up their budget dollars before the end of the year so Congress will not reduce their future budgets.
As an example, the Post reported that one agency bought $562,000 worth of artwork last week.
This contrasts with how Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has worked every year with a smaller General Fund budget (the discretionary part of his operating budget) than when he arrived in 2010, yet still returned part of his office's budget at the end of every year to the General Assembly.
AG's General Fund budget:
FY10 $19.6 million
FY11 $18.9 million
FY12 $19.3 million
FY13 $18.1 million
FY14 $18.1 million
The attorney general worked with this smaller budget by reallocating money to priorities and identifying efficiencies - including tighter budgeting and leaner spending, spending less on senior staff salaries and recruiting fewer senior staff members at the beginning of his administration, moving offices to consolidate space, and cutting travel.
Because of this fiscal management, even with a smaller General Fund budget, the attorney general has returned part of his operating budget to the General Fund each year.
Dollars returned to General Fund:
The one part of the office that was expanded
Responding to the increase in referrals of cases of Virginia taxpayers being defrauded through the Medicaid program, the one part of the office Cuccinelli expanded was the area that fights Medicaid fraud - a unit that recovers stolen tax dollars many times over what it spends on salaries. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) recovers an average of $3.1 million in taxpayer funds per employee, and the more investigators and prosecutors hired, the more recoveries the unit is able to bring in. Cuccinelli took the staff from 56 to 96.
The MFCU expansion has already resulted in fraud recoveries totaling $1.58 billion during Cuccinelli's tenure - more than all attorneys general combined since the unit was created in 1982. It has also led to an increase in major cases currently under investigation.
The MFCU is 75 percent federally funded, with 25 percent of its funding coming from the commonwealth. As a result of the unit's aggressive investigations, the Virginia MFCU is the only unit in the country that has been able to negotiate that the penalties from its investigations be used to fund the state's share of its budget. The criminals, not the taxpayers, fund Virginia's portion of the unit.