The office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) Wednesday released the findings of their investigation into fraud within Minnesota’s Child Care Assistance Program. The investigation was prompted by a whistleblower who alleged that the amount of fraud topped $100 million each year.
Senator John Jasinski (R-Faribault) released the following statement:
“When the man in charge of investigating CCAP says that fraud could be at least 50% of the entire program, it should make everyone stop in their tracks. So far the Department of Human Services has failed to get the rampant fraud under control, so the Senate will have to bring accountability and transparency to the program.”
Senator Jasinski has authored two bills that would begin to address child care fraud:
- Senate File 1845: Would preclude individuals who work for a child care provider from enrolling their children with that provider, if the individual receives CCAP money.
- Senate File 1846: Would require child care centers to provide proof of surety bond coverage. If they are found to engage in fraudulent activity they will be forced to repay the money to the state.
Notable findings of the OLA report:
- OLA investigators believe that fraud is higher than the amount that has been proven in prosecutions over the past few years, but were unable to reach a reliable estimate. (Page 8)
- Investigators within the Department of Human Services generally agree with the whistleblower’s allegations about the scope of fraud in CCAP. Jay Swanson, manager of CCAP’s Investigations Unit, said fraud is pervasive and pegged the amount as being in the $100 million range. (Page 9-10)
- Per an email, the Supervisor and Manager of the CCAP Fraud Investigation Unit believe the overall fraud rate is at least 50% of the $217 million paid to child care centers in 2017. (Page 10)