Republicans in the Michigan House say a recent audit raises serious concerns about financial controls related to the state’s Department of Community Health.

House Republicans say Thursday they want Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm to appoint an independent comptroller for the department.

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A report last month from the Michigan auditor general recommends that the health department improve several of its internal control processes. The audit identifies questioned costs of $489 million over a two-year period ending in late 2009 and notes more than $4 billion in “likely” questionable spending, although it says that amount could be reduced with further documentation.

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A Department of Community Health spokesman says the agency disputes many of the audit’s findings and that the House Republican statements are misleading.

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