Monday, February 25, 2013

DWS NEWS: Response to Audit

Utah’s state auditor recently issued a press release summarizing Dept. of Workforce Services (DWS) audit results in key compliance areas. DWS administrators acknowledge room for improvement, but feel the report ignores the agency’s record of consistently more accurate and streamlined processes. “DWS fosters an environment of constant improvement for both our employees and our outcomes,” said Executive Director Jon Pierpont. “Our operational excellence strategies target areas where we know we can do better, but our record of improvement and quality outcomes should not be minimized or overlooked.”

Pierpont added, “The auditor’s unusual statement ignores significant trends of improvement in virtually every program audited, fails to distinguish between internal procedural errors and customer compliance accuracy, and fails to acknowledge the extraordinary performance in the other programs audited. Perhaps most disappointing is the auditor’s refusal to acknowledge the department’s remarkable performance for one of its largest and most astoundingly complex eligibility programs: Medicaid.”

DWS accuracy rates for Medicaid were 96.7 percent with no questioned costs. Other programs audited showed similarly impressive results. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) had an accuracy rate of 97.5 percent. Third Party Liability had an accuracy rate of 98.3 percent and zero questioned costs.

Additionally, the auditor inexplicably made no mention that the Department improved its questioned costs in every program but one from the previous year, TANF being the only exception with just over $100 more in questioned costs than the previous year. In most cases, these programs demonstrate long-term improvement in questioned costs since 2010.

“DWS values the opportunity any audit provides for improvement,” said Pierpont. “We will continue to work with the State Auditor’s Office and welcome all recommendations.”

The press release specifically addressed two programs: CHIP and WIA. Click here to read the responses.

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