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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Orleans County – Department of Social Services (2012M-222)


Released: January 18, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine two forms of temporary assistance provided by the County for the period January 1, 2011, to September 7, 2012.

Background

Orleans County is located in western New York State and has a population of 42,883. The County is governed by a seven-member Legislature. The County’s budgeted appropriations for 2012 are $75.5 million.

Key Findings

  • Generally the County processes Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applications accurately and in a timely manner. However, the County’s process could be improved. We identified 27 duplicate payments for 13 clients, totaling $7,523. This was due to inadequate communication between social welfare examiners in two different County Social Services programs. In addition, we found that 10 out of 45 cases reviewed lacked certain documentation such as age, identity, income, shelter, or recertification.
  • All 25 child care cases we reviewed were eligible for child care assistance and had been recertified for assistance every six months. However, we were unable to determine if child care was only provided when the client was at work or school because DSS does not require individuals to submit work schedules.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that DSS personnel adequately communicate with each other to avoid errors, such as duplicate payments. Ensure that the process for obtaining SNAP application/recertification documentation is consistent and that the appropriate documentation is received and appropriately filed in the image repository for all clients.
  • Require clients to provide work and/or school schedules in order to ensure that individuals are only provided child care benefits when required.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236