Auditor slams controls on child care program hit by scandal

Published 7:47 am Thursday, April 11, 2019

ST. PAUL — Integrity controls are too weak to effectively prevent, detect and investigate fraud in a critical child care program at the heart of a scandal that has cost taxpayers millions of dollars, Minnesota’s legislative auditor said Wednesday.

The nonpartisan auditor’s report cited shortcomings in how the state Department of Human Services and counties verify whether families are eligible for the Child Care Assistance Program and how the agency safeguards against child care providers billing for children they don’t really serve. The report also detailed problems in the department’s electronic billing and payment system, how it licenses providers and its processes for investigating fraud.

A separate, more limited review released last month found serious problems with the program but no evidence to support allegations that surfaced in media reports last year that money defrauded from the program might have reached Somali terrorists overseas.

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