Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen: Auditor’s report outlines DHS failures that allowed daycare fraud to run rampant

The Office of the Legislative Auditor released its special review Child Care Assistance Program: Assessment of Internal Controls on Wednesday following up an initial investigation into daycare fraud allegations. The report found the Department of Human Services (DHS) program integrity controls are insufficient to effectively prevent, detect, and investigate fraud in Minnesota’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP).

“I continue to be deeply disturbed over the ongoing fraud and investigations revolving around Minnesota’s Child Care Assistance Program. Today’s report provides us even more detail on the lack of effort from DHS and the governors’ administrations to crack down on this issue,” said Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria). “This is an unacceptable precedent and one that we will work to end. Minnesotans deserve the most out of their public programs, and our state government should be to do everything in its power to ensure that their tax dollars are going to good use. I look forward to using the Auditor’s recommendations while working with my colleagues in the Senate to develop solutions, restore that trust, and bring this crisis to an end. Furthermore, I hope that the authorities continue to pursue criminal charges against those responsible for this huge theft of taxpayers money.”

The OLA’s review also determined that DHS and local human services agencies must do more to develop, coordinate, and implement policies, processes, and resources to identify and respond to the risk of fraud in CCAP.

Earlier this session, the Legislative Auditor released its special review of the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) providing a broader view of daycare fraud allegations. The OLA’s report detailed widespread fraud in the program, lack of internal controls at DHS and a “serious rift” between the DHS Inspector General and CCAP investigators caused in part by DHS’s unwillingness to address the serious concerns about program integrity.

Just this week Senate Republicans announced a plan to freeze spending on the controversial Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) until the state can prove to Minnesotans that fraud has been sufficiently rooted out of the system.