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Iowa Lacked Some Documentation for Its Childcare Assistance Program Claims

The Iowa Department of Human Services (State agency) did not always maintain adequate documentation to ensure that the paid claims for the childcare assistance program complied with Federal and State requirements. Of the 200 claims that we reviewed, we identified 57 claims that had client eligibility documentation deficiencies, 45 claims that had provider eligibility documentation deficiencies, and 27 claims that had claims processing documentation deficiencies (some claims had documentation deficiencies in more than 1 category). In addition, the State agency's automated KinderTrack system allowed claims to be paid even when at least two significant data fields-"provider type" and "paid date"-had entries of zero. These documentation deficiencies indicate that the State agency's childcare assistance program may be vulnerable to fraud, waste, and abuse.

We recommended that the State agency (1) use the results of this review to establish policies and procedures to help ensure compliance with the Federal and State requirements for the childcare assistance program, (2) determine the current eligibility of all clients and providers identified in this review with documentation deficiencies and ensure that further childcare assistance payments are denied for those clients and providers who are ineligible, and (3) improve the processing of the childcare assistance claims within the KinderTrack system to ensure that the claims are complete. The State agency concurred with our first two recommendations but disagreed with our third recommendation; we maintain that all of our findings and recommendations are valid.

Filed under: Administration for Children and Families