Tag Archives: overpayments

Audit Finds More Than $73 Million in Unemployment Benefit Overpayments

News release from state comptroller’s office:
The $1.2 billion unemployment insurance program administered by the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development has made overpayments exceeding $73 million due to fraud and errors over the last six years.
State auditors found that the department’s internal controls for the program were ineffective or non-existent, resulting in overpayments of claims due to fraud or error. The department’s efforts to review fraudulent claims and claims paid in error and to collect overpayments were also strained. The department has only been able to collect 23 percent of the overpayments on average.
In addition, those citizens who were actually eligible for benefits did not receive them in a timely manner. Due to increased backlogs in the department’s claims process, some benefit payments were delayed for those who needed help.
Those are among the findings of the state’s Single Audit Report, which was released today. The Single Audit Report is an annual audit of state agencies and universities’ compliance with federal requirements. The new report, covering the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2012, examines more than $15.9 billion of federal funds spent by state government.
In all, the report contains 48 findings with recommendations for improvement at 11 different state agencies and universities. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development was the subject of 12 of those findings, including the ones related to the unemployment insurance program.
State auditors concluded that management’s failure to properly administer this state/federal program jeopardizes the integrity and future viability of the program.
“The state’s unemployed citizens must be able to rely on the Department of Labor and Workforce Development officials to properly administer the unemployment insurance program and provide critical benefits to those who are dependent on them,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. “The new acting commissioner of the department has responded and initiated a corrective action plan to strengthen controls and establish program oversight. We appreciate the new commissioner’s prompt action as well as the former commissioner’s request for a review of specific allegations when she identified fraud risks within the department.”
To view the Single Audit Report online, go to:
http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/repository/SA/2012_TN_Single_Audit.pdf

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.