Senator Dan Hall: Minnesotans deserve better than how DHS has handled daycare fraud

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).

“As the investigations continue it is disappointing to see how Minnesota could have easily avoided the fraud that has occurred within the state’s Child Care Assistance Program. DHS has allowed this fraud to run rampant without pursuing the proper checks or precautions to bring it to an end,” said Senator Dan Hall (R-Burnsville).  “Minnesotans deserve better, and it is outrageous that we continue to waste their taxpayer dollars when there are over 2,000 children who are waiting for access to this program. At this point, our number one priority is fixing this program and restoring the public trust. We will consider the OLA’s recommendations and work with this administration and DHS to implement solutions that will make Minnesota a better place.”

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.