Program Integrity and Accountability
The Administration has emphasized that efforts to reduce improper payments and fraud must be undertaken with consideration for impacts on eligible families seeking benefits. In November 2009, the President issued Executive Order 13520, which underscored the importance of reducing improper payments in Federal programs while protecting access to programs by their intended beneficiaries. (74 Fed. Reg. 62201 (Nov. 25, 2009)) President’s Executive Order (Nov 2009)
In response to the Improper Payments Elimination and Reduction Act (July 2010) the Office of Child Care has instituted a Program Integrity plan which offers technical assistance and support to states to increase program accountablity and reduce improper payments, fraud, waste and abuse.
Strengthening Program Integrity
OCC works with CCDF grantees to ensure that all program funds are used to the benefit of eligible children and families. Our efforts to strengthen program integrity focus on reducing administrative errors and preventing, detecting, and eliminating fraud. Recent actions include:
- Improper Payments Error Rate Review Process. ACF works with States to conduct triennial case record reviews to identify and reduce administrative errors in the CCDF program. Effective October 1, 2007, a Final Rule revised the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) regulations requiring all States, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, to report on error rates in the expenditure of CCDF grant funds once every three years on a rotational cycle. Chart of States by Reporting Cycle. As of June 2010, we have completed one cycle of administrative error-rate reviews, establishing a baseline across the 52 reporting States. States will report on targeted actions to reduce errors in the revised Biennial CCDF Plan. View and download the data collection forms and instructions.
- National Program Integrity Conference Call Series. ACF issued a Program Instruction on August 26, 2010, that provides guidance to grantees on preventing waste, fraud, and abuse in the CCDF program and how to improve program integrity while not reducing program access for eligible children. In addition, ACF conducts regular program integrity conference calls where states share best practices and tools to prevent waste, fraud and abuse and improve program integrity in the CCDF program.
In the coming year, OCC is providing improved CCDF program integrity tools:
- Self-Assessment of Internal Controls. OCC will revise the State Assessment of Internal Controls (May 2007) tool to help States better analyze risk and strengthen internal controls to prevent improper payments. OCC is conducting a pilot study of the revised tool which has been redesigned to tailor it more closely to the specifics of the CCDF program.
OCC has revised the Improper Payments Information Technology Guide in 2011.