Report 2009-101 Recommendations and Responses in 2013-041

Report 2009-101: Department of Social Services: For the CalWORKs and Food Stamp Programs, It Lacks Assessments of Cost-Effectiveness and Misses Opportunities to Improve Counties' Antifraud Efforts

Department Number of Years Reported As Not Fully Implemented Total Recommendations to Department Not Implemented After One Year Not Implemented as of 2012-041 Response Not Implemented as of Most Recent Response
Department of Social Services 3 15 13 10 10

Recommendation To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that all counties consistently gauge the cost-effectiveness of their early fraud activities and ongoing investigation efforts for the CalWORKs and food stamp programs, Social Services should work with the counties to develop a formula to regularly perform a cost-effectiveness analysis using information that the counties currently submit.

Response

Partially Implemented/Estimated Completion Date: December 31, 2013. The Fraud Cost Analysis Report (Report) will be finalized by December 2013.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: December 31, 2013
  • Response Date: October 2013

Recommendation To: Social Services, Department of

To make certain that counties receive the greatest benefit from the resources they spend on antifraud efforts related to CalWORKs and food stamp cases, Social Services should, using the results from the recommended cost-effectiveness analysis, determine why some counties' efforts to combat welfare fraud are more cost-effective than others.

Response

Partially Implemented/Estimated Completion Date: October 31, 2013. CDSS will analyze the data from the Report to identify those counties who are generating high program savings or reducing improper payments thru effective fraud prevention efforts. This data is yet another tool that assists CDSS to identify and share county best practices which contribute to cost-effective anti-fraud efforts. Please also see the responses to Recommendations #8 and #9.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: October 31, 2013
  • Response Date: October 2013

Recommendation To: Social Services, Department of

To make certain that counties receive the greatest benefit from the resources they spend on antifraud efforts related to CalWORKs and food stamp cases, Social Services should seek to replicate the most cost-effective practices among all counties.

Response

Partially Implemented/Estimated Completion Date: October 31, 2013. The implementation of the extranet site will provide counties training and instructional materials that can be used as additional tools to support and improve cost-effectiveness. It is anticipated the extranet site will be available for use by October 31, 2013.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: October 31, 2013
  • Response Date: October 2013

Recommendation To: Social Services, Department of

To make certain that counties receive the greatest benefit from the resources they spend on antifraud efforts related to CalWORKs and food stamp cases, Social Services should continue to address the recommendations of the steering committee and promptly act on the remaining recommendations

Response

Partially Implemented/Estimated Completion Date: October 1, 2015. CDSS is continuing to address and act on recommendations from the steering committee. Lists of completed and outstanding steering committee recommendations are attached.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: October 1, 2015
  • Response Date: October 2013

Recommendation To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure the accuracy and consistency of the information on welfare fraud activities that counties report and that Social Services subsequently reports to the federal government, the Legislature, and internal users, Social Services should take the following steps: Remind counties that they are responsible for reviewing the accuracy and consistency of investigation activity reports before submission.

Response

Partially Implemented/Estimated Completion Date: December 31, 2013. The county reports, including but not limited to the DPA 266, include the number of investigations for CalWORKs and CalFresh. CDSS staff has worked with the counties to improve the reporting of this data, including the use of data validation as part of the county review process.

Additionally, CDSS has finalized the revisions to the DPA 266 report and instructions. An internal review is underway and the Department anticipates issuing the report and instructions through an All County Letter by December 31, 2013. This will also improve the reporting of investigations and disposition.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: December 31, 2013
  • Response Date: October 2013

Recommendation To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure the accuracy and consistency of the information on welfare fraud activities that counties report and that Social Services subsequently reports to the federal government, the Legislature, and internal users, Social Services should continue with regular meetings of its workgroup to further its efforts to clarify its instructions for completing the counties' investigation activity reports.

Response

Fully Implemented/Date Implemented: September 2013. The workgroup created to revise the counties' investigation activity reports has provided their final review and comments to the revised DPA 66. No further meetings are necessary.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: September 2013
  • Response Date: October 2013

Recommendation To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that counties are consistently following up on all match lists, Social Services should remind counties of their responsibility under state regulations to follow up diligently on all match lists. Further, it should work with counties to determine why poor follow-up exists and address those reasons.

Response

Partially Implemented/Estimated Completion Date: Fall 2018. Due to the complexity of this issue, CDSS has created a workgroup consisting of state and county fraud and eligibility staff to discuss the challenges to meeting the IEVS processing requirements. CDSS is also consulting with Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to ensure the correct interpretation of the rules. Once CDSS receives clarification from FNS and has a better understanding of the county issues, the Department will issue written instructions to the counties. Due to limited resources and other workload priorities, the resolution to this recommendation has been delayed.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: Fall 2018
  • Response Date: October 2013

Recommendation To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that counties are consistently following up on all match lists, Social Services should revive its efforts to work with counties and federal agencies to address the counties' concerns about match list formats and criteria.

Response

Partially Implemented/Estimated Completion Date: Fall 2018. CDSS is working on pursuing enhancements to IEVS to address the county concerns identified in the audit report, in addition to the feedback received from various workgroups. The enhancements will, most importantly, fully automate all the matches and reduce county staff time spent on reviewing reports. To comply with the audit report recommendation, CDSS will reiterate its request to the Social Security Administration to include the prisoner release date information in the Nationwide Prisoner Match.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: Fall 2018
  • Response Date: October 2013

Recommendation To: Social Services, Department of

Social Services should track how counties determine prosecution thresholds for welfare fraud cases and determine the effects of these thresholds on counties' decisions to investigate potential fraud, with a focus on determining best practices and cost-effective methods. It should then work with counties to implement the consistent use of these cost-effective methods.

Response

Partially Implemented/Estimated Completion Date: November 30, 2015. The CDSS Fraud Bureau is working on surveying the counties and collecting data on prosecution thresholds for welfare fraud cases. The data will be analyzed to determine county cost-effectiveness and best practice methods. The CDSS Fraud Bureau will share the cost-effective methods as part of the county review process.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: November 30, 2015
  • Response Date: October 2013

Recommendation To: Social Services, Department of

Social Services should either ensure that counties follow state regulations regarding the use of administrative disqualification hearings or pursue changing the regulations.

Response

Fully Implemented: October 2013. The CDSS conducted statewide training on ADH's on October 9-10, 2013, and will train Northern California Appeals supervisors on November 15, 2013. Following these sessions, the training materials will be made available to all counties. In addition, CDSS will assist by identifying key contacts in each county who are available to share best practices for ADH hearings. These best practices will also be shared at Northern and Southern Appeals Committees. CDSS will work to develop training materials and establish regional training for county staff on the ADH process. Counties identified as having low ADH and Intentional Program Violation disqualifications will be contacted and training and support will be provided for their staff.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: October 2013
  • Response Date: October 2013

Current Status of Recommendations

All Recommendations in 2013-041