HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania's auditor general is blaming mismanagement by the state Department of Public Welfare for paycheck disruptions earlier this year for hundreds of home care workers for the disabled.

Audit findings released Thursday by Auditor General Eugene DePasquale say the department's consolidation of payroll services from multiple vendors to a single vendor placed unnecessary financial strain on workers and cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

The audit says DPW's procurement process was unfair to former vendors.

It says the state gave an $18 million cash advance to the new vendor - Boston-based Public Partnerships Ltd. - even though it told other vendors an advance was not an option. It says negotiations over the advance shortened the transition period and made it chaotic.

DPW Secretary Bev Mackereth has said she welcomed the audit.