News release from state Department of Human Services
NASHVILLE, TN – The Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) has been recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for high performance in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
According to the USDA, for the first time in DHS history, it has been recognized as No. 1 in the nation for most improvement in Case and Procedural Error Rate (CAPER), a measurement directly related to improvement in efficiency and customer service. Tennessee’s CAPER rate decreased from 46.28 percent in FY 2012 to 23.51 percent in FY 2013. This rate also falls below the national average of 25.25 percent.
The USDA also recognized DHS as having the sixth best SNAP payment accuracy rate in the nation for FY 2013. This national measure indicates the rate of SNAP cases with overpayments and underpayments based upon benefits for which a household is entitled. This measurement is directly related to program integrity.
“We continue to focus on making state government more customer-focused, efficient and effective for Tennessee taxpayers, and I am grateful to Commissioner Hatter and her team at DHS for their hard work,” Gov. Bill Haslam said.
“A special thanks goes to our staff – frontline and management – who have implemented new business processes that continue to help us identify opportunities to become more efficient, to better address program integrity, manage workloads, improve customer service, and exercise better stewardship of taxpayer dollars,” DHS Commissioner Raquel Hatter said.
DHS’s achievements are accompanied by performance bonuses from the USDA of approximately $5 million, which must be invested in technology, program integrity, and administration linked to the provision of SNAP. DHS will invest the funds in its 21st Century Family Assistance Service Delivery Model and modernization effort.
The Department of Human Services mission is to offer temporary economic assistance, work opportunities, and protective services to improve the lives of Tennesseans. Learn more at http://www.tn.gov/humanserv/.