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Audit Shows Utah Department of Workforce Services Fixing “Pattern of Non-Compliance”

Utah Department of Workforce Services call center
Dan Bammes
Utah Department of Workforce Services call center

A state audit released this week shows that the Utah Department of Workforce Services has cut down on errors enrolling people for benefits and training, and is doing a much better job complying with federal regulations. A previous state audit of the Department showed a consistent pattern of non-compliance, resulting in millions of dollars in questioned costs. 

In last year’s review, the Office of the Utah State Auditor found that the Department of Workforce Services had a 20 percent error rate in administering the Children’s Health Insurance Program.  59 percent of the cases audited for the Workforce Investment Act - a federally funded job training program -resulted in some type of error. DWS spokesperson Nic Dunn says the department took the audit seriously.

“We’ve addressed the issues in the last audit. We’ve recognized the problems, we’ve implemented a lot of procedures to improve those," Dunn says.

The state’s most recent audit shows that the error rate for the Workforce Investment Act dropped to 20 percent. And the error rate for the Children’s Health Insurance Program has dropped to under 7 percent.

"We still have a lot of work moving forward," Dunn says. "But we’re confident we can bring these solutions to bear and continue to see some improvement in the next few years." He says the improvements were achieved with additional staff checks on eligibility requirements, computer systems which automatically stop benefits when someone becomes ineligible for a program, and an internal performance review team, among other things. Dunn says the department achieved these improvements without hiring any additional staff.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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