Tag Archives: glitch

DCS Computer Glitch Pays Some Foster Parents Double, Others Nothing

Glitches in the Department of Children’s Services expensive new computer system have resulted in some foster care parents receiving duplicate monthly room and board payments from the state while others weren’t paid at all, reports The Tennesean.
More than $2.5 million in duplicate and missed payments have been identified by DCS already, and officials said last week that they are hurrying to address continued problems with the system.
The software system, which is called the Tennessee Family and Child Tracking System, or TFACTS, was the subject of a scathing audit released last week by the state comptroller of the treasury. TFACTS was rolled out in the autumn of 2010 at a price tag of $37 million.
TFACTS was touted as a system that would streamline DCS operations and better track services provided to children in state care. But shortly after the program was installed, foster care parents began experiencing problems with their monthly room and board payments.
….According to the audit, state officials were aware of the problems with TFACTS before it was rolled out statewide in 2010, yet the system was launched anyway.
“Before and during the pilot implementation of TFACTS, steering committee officials knew that the system had significant problems, including deficient system functionality and missing payments,” the audit stated.
According to a letter from Comptroller Justin Wilson to Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Mark Emkes, the bigger issue for state government is how such systems are developed and implemented. In addition to TFACTS, the accounting program Edison has experienced glitches.
State Rep. Glen Casada, who chairs the House Committee on Health and Human Resources, said he was frustrated that problems persisted with TFACTS 18 months after it was implemented.
“It hurts people that can ill afford to be hurt,” Casada said. “From the state government’s perspective, from a legislator’s perspective, we’ve gone through this before.
“I don’t have enough info to say who’s at fault. But somebody is at fault. At the end of the day, the head coach still has to shoulder the blame and give a vision and a way to correct. That’s what we’ll be waiting for from the Department of Children’s Services.”
DCS Commissioner Kate O’Day said the department has taken several steps, including hiring coding experts to study the software, hiring new staff and setting up an internal troubleshooting team for customers.
In one of O’Day’s first steps, she hired Deputy Commissioner Lee Gregory specifically to fix TFACTS.