Sneak Preview: ACF Plans To Help States Enhance CCDF Integrity

August 26, 2016 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xsass_bookshot(The following was excerpted from a recent article in the Single Audit Information Service.) The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) plans to help states conduct self-assessments of their Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) block grant policies and procedures to determine if they maintain program integrity and prevent fraud, in response to the recent HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit.

Under the CCDF block grant program, ACF and states partner to provide eligible, low-income families with assistance to pay for child care at a provider of their choice. Previous OIG audits of the program have identified fraud, improper payments, and health and safety concerns at child care facilities. The federal government identified about $311 million in CCDF block grant improper payments for fiscal year (FY) 2015, the OIG added.

The OIG found that although ACF provides states a template that lists activities states may take to ensure CCDF program integrity, ACF does not require states to perform any of these activities, instead choosing to offer them flexibility in determining which program integrity and antifraud activities to perform.

According to the OIG, state officials described several CCDF program integrity activities that they had planned to conduct for FY 2015. Nearly all 50 states planned to review child care facility attendance and billing records, conduct quality control or quality assurance reviews and train their internal staff on policies and/or audits. Comparatively, only 32 states planned to conduct data mining activities; 27 states planned to share or match data from other government databases; and 27 states planned to conduct onsite visits to subrecipients. Other CCDF program integrity activities that states planned to conduct included running system reports that flag errors, conducting onsite visits to child care providers and conducting supervisory staff reviews. State officials told the OIG that they planned to conduct between four and 11 of these integrity activities in FY 2015.

(The full version of this story has now been made available to all for a limited time on Thompson’s Grants Compliance Expert site.)

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