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Department of Economic SecurityŚWelfare Programs (April 2004, Report No. 04-02)

 
 

The Department of Economic Security administers four major welfare programs: the Jobs Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Food Stamps, and Child Care Assistance. The Jobs Program must be privatized by July 1, 2004, pending current legislation that would delay that date to July 2005 or July 2006, depending on when Congress reauthorizes TANF. DES should prepare for Jobs Program privatization by providing training and developing plans to secure information, monitor the contactor, and ensure data accuracy and maintenance. Although the Department has significantly reduced Food Stamp error rates since 1994, increased caseloads and reduced budgets are expected to result in higher error rates. Additionally, although the Department has significantly reduced its overpayment referral backlog, many potential overpayment referrals are not being processed because the case file cannot be located. Therefore, the Department should also improve management of the Food Stamp eligibility and benefit overpayment referral processes through better training, communication, and increased supervisory reviews. Finally, the Department should continue efforts to implement an electronic document-scanning system to manage its case files.

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