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Audit (A-03-08-00553)

11-09-2009
Pennsylvania’s Title IV-E Claims on Behalf of Children Who Exceeded the Maximum Eligible Age From October 1997 Through September 2002

Executive Summary

For the period October 1997 through September 2002, Pennsylvania improperly claimed Title IV-E maintenance and associated administrative costs for some children over the age of 19. ACF provides the Federal share of States’ costs, including maintenance (room and board) costs and administrative and training costs, for children in foster care who meet Title IV-E requirements. As required, the State did not file any Title IV-E claims for services provided to 63 of 100 sampled children after they reached the age of 19. However, the State filed unallowable Title IV-E claims on behalf of the 37 remaining sampled children for services provided after they turned 19. Based on our sample results, we estimated that the State improperly claimed at least $1.6 million (Federal share) in Title IV-E maintenance and associated administrative costs on behalf of children aged 19 or older in the 65 counties reviewed.

We recommended that the State (1) refund to the Federal Government $1.6 million, including $1 million in unallowable maintenance costs and $639,000 in unallowable administrative costs, for the period October 1997 through September 2002; (2) work with ACF to identify and resolve any unallowable claims for maintenance costs for children aged 19 or older made after September 2002 and refund the appropriate amount; and (3) work with the counties to establish controls to identify and prevent claims for Title IV-E reimbursement for children aged 19 or older.

In its comments on our draft report, the State disagreed with our finding and recommendations. The State questioned our authority to conduct the audit and stated that our recommendations were without merit and contrary to law. We maintain the validity of our recommendations, as well as our conclusion that the State did not always comply with Federal Title IV-E age requirements.

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