The state’s Department of Social Services has improperly given stimulus money to local agencies, stalled in processing claims and has failed to keep track of all the money it has handed out, according to a report released yesterday by California Inspector General Laura Chick.
Among other things, the report, which primarily looks at stimulus money handled by Social Services, found that the department sent money to San Bernardino County before the county had spent enough of its own money to qualify for more.
“It is unfathomable that in an area crying for help, the county agency did not expend its regular base assistance dollars that would qualify them to receive additional Recovery Act dollars. Do they not need them?” Chick said in a statement.
The review found further issues in Shasta and Sacramento counties – largely bookkeeping errors.
In a response included with the report, Social Service offcials said confusion over a new program and a lack of federal guidance led to the problems and that “no claims were claimed or reimbursed improperly.”
Since she was appointed to the inspector general job last year, Chick has focused many of her reviews on human services programs, such as workforce development boards, food banks and low-income assistance.
According to the inspector general’s Web site, the following reviews are still in progress (although some seem to have been completed):
- Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center, Special Education – IDEA, Part C Early Intervention Services, Awarded by Department of Developmental Services
- San Bernardino County Transitional Assistance Department, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families – Emergency Contingency Fund, Awarded by Department of Social Services
- Shasta Senior Nutrition Program Food Bank, Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program, Awarded by Department of Social Services
- City and County of San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Workforce Investment Board, Awarded by the Employment Development Department
- City of Oakland, Workforce Investment Board, Awarded by the Employment Development Department
- Vocational Rehabilitation Program, Awarded by Department of Rehabilitation
- Glenn County Human Resource Agency, Review of the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid ReHousing Program
- Monterey County Department of Social and Employment Services -Monterey Workforce Investment Board