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State Letter #07-02

Website Development for Formula Allocations Data Submissions

Published: December 11, 2006
Types:
State Letter
Tags:
formula, data

TO: STATE REFUGEE COORDINATORS
WILSON/FISH ALTERNATIVE PROJECTS

FROM: Martha E. Newton
Director
Office of Refugee Resettlement

SUBJECT: Website Development for Formula Allocations Data Submissions

Purpose of this Letter

This State Letter is intended to provide information regarding a new data submission website under development by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), and to inform states of the timeline and requirements of the development process.

Background

In order to streamline and standardize the data submission process for Social Services and Targeted Assistance formula allocations, ORR is developing a web-based data submission system. Currently, asylee and entrant data for Social Services and Targeted Assistance formula allocations (including entrant data for border crossers and ports of entry other than Miami) and ORR-11 (Secondary Migration documentation for refugees and asylees) are submitted to ORR electronically in an Excel file for data matching. This data submission method has been problematic due to inconsistencies in the State submissions, including invalid data values in certain data fields, missing data, and confusion about how many years of data ought to be submitted. In addition, the current method does not adequately allow ORR to screen submissions for errors and clarify the nature of the errors so that States have the opportunity to resubmit corrected files for more accurate data matching.

ORR is therefore implementing a web-based data system with the capability to upload State files, provide verification to States of receipt of the data, perform front-end editing to reject invalid data immediately after receipt with explanation of reasons for rejection, and allow States to resubmit corrected files. This new process will ensure that States’ final data submission is complete and correctly formatted to maximize probability of matching.

Timeline and Requirements

ORR plans to implement this web-based data submission system by late winter 2007 so that States can submit data for FY 2007 formula allocations via this system. As mentioned above, States will be expected to submit asylee and entrant data for Social Services formula allocations, Targeted Assistance formula allocations, and ORR-11 Secondary Migration data for refugees and entrants via this system.

By COB December 15, 2006, States will be required to identify a primary and alternate contact with the authority to submit the relevant data for data matching for formula allocations. These individuals will be provided with a username and password, as well as instruction on how to submit data through the new process. States will be expected to ensure that only the designated individuals access the website, due to the obvious security and privacy concerns related to the data to be submitted. Each State is requested to submit the name, e-mail address, and telephone number for a primary and an alternate user to Moushumi Beltangady by e-mail at moushumi.beltangady@acf.hhs.gov by COB December 15, 2006. Passwords and access instructions will be provided at a later date to State contacts.

To meet the target date, ORR also asks that three States volunteer to participate in Beta testing for the website. This testing will allow ORR to resolve any anomalies or malfunctions in the system, thereby assuring that the data submission experience will go smoothly for all States. This will allow ORR to perform prompt data matching and provide timely Social Service and Targeted Assistance formula allocations. ORR will contact selected small, medium, and large states in the coming weeks to assess willingness to participate in the Beta testing, which is expected to begin in early January 2007.

States with questions about the web-based system are asked to contact Moushumi Beltangady at (202) 260-3613 or moushumi.beltangady@acf.hhs.gov.