Report 2009-101 Recommendations and Responses in 2015-041

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 2014-041 Response Not Implemented as of Most Recent Response
Department of Social Services 5 15 14 10 9

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

CDSS has selected sample counties whose available data will be reviewed to initiate our assessment.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending
  • Estimated Completion Date: June 30, 2016
  • Response Date: August 2015

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

CDSS has selected sample counties whose available data will be reviewed to initiate our assessment.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending
  • Estimated Completion Date: June 30, 2016
  • Response Date: August 2015

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

Four Remaining Recommendations - Outstanding Steering Committee items:

CDSS/Fraud Bureau should:

1. Revise its county reports to include additional data on the number of investigations in the various types of welfare programs.

CDSS has begun to review the remaining Steering Committee's proposed additional data.

2. Review the cost effectiveness of various data match systems along with county feedback on the usefulness of each type of match.

CDSS has solicited county representatives to participate in the workgroup.

3. Provide regular reports for counties to use in monitoring the cost-effectiveness of their program integrity efforts.

CDSS has selected sample counties whose available data will be reviewed to initiate our assessment.

4. Maintain a central repository of fraud training ideas and materials created by counties and accessible to other counties via the Fraud Bureau.

The staff person assigned to this project will return from a leave of absence in October 2015. As a result, CDSS reassessed the workload necessary to complete the central repository and is extending the completion date until June 2016. The extension is needed in order to fully implement the central repository and meet current and new work priorities. However, CDSS will post material in the central repository on a flow basis, as it becomes available.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Partially Implemented
  • Estimated Completion Date: June 30, 2016
  • Response Date: August 2015

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

CDSS is beginning to identify common errors and will disseminate, via county notification, instruction on how to prevent and correct those errors.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending
  • Estimated Completion Date: December 31, 2015
  • Response Date: August 2015

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

Draft All County Letter is in progress.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending
  • Estimated Completion Date: April 29, 2016
  • Response Date: August 2015

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

CDSS has solicited county representatives to participate in the workgroup.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending
  • Estimated Completion Date: October 30, 2015
  • Response Date: August 2015

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

See initial response.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Completion Date:
  • Response Date: August 2015

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

Draft of the All County Letter is in progress.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Pending
  • Estimated Completion Date: December 30, 2015
  • Response Date: August 2015

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

On March 12, 2015, the Bureau Chief of the Welfare Fraud and Emergency Food Assistance Program within the Department of Social Services emailed every county Special Investigation Unit chief in order to remind them all of the requirement to submit accurate and timely submissions of the monthly Fraud Investigation Activity Report (DPA 266).

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: March 2015
  • Response Date: June 2015

Recommendation To: Social Services, Department of

Recognizing that the deterrence effect is difficult to measure, Social Services should develop a method that allows it to gauge the cost effectiveness of SFIS. Social Services should include in its efforts to measure cost effectiveness the administrative cost that counties incur for using SFIS. Based on its results, Social Services should determine whether the continued use of SFIS is justified.

Response

Social Services largely concurs that the SFIS has limited utility, and effective 2012, discontinued its use in the CalFresh Program. With the SFIS nearing the end of its contract term and technology life cycle, Social Services is in the process of identifying alternative approaches for identity verification and preventing and detecting duplicate aid. As with any major information technology solution, Social Services will assess the cost-effectiveness of any new approach to fraud prevention and detection. Such cost-effectiveness estimates will be shared with the Legislature during the budget approval process.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Completion Date:
  • Response Date: June 2015

Current Status of Recommendations

All Recommendations in 2015-041