DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES
For the Year Ended:
June 30, 2004
For the Year Ended:
June 30, 2004
Summary of Findings:
Total this audit† †††† †† 15
Total last audit† ††††††††† 11
Repeated from last audit†††††††† 8
April 6, 2005
State of Illinois
Office of the Auditor General
WILLIAM G. HOLLAND
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740 E. Ash Street
Springfield, IL 62703
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® The Department made payments for efficiency initiative billings from improper line item appropriations.† Efficiency payments totaled $6,537,191 during fiscal year 2004.
® Child welfare and foster care files lacked complete and timely prepared documentation.
® The Department's child abuse investigations did not always fully comply with State law.† For instance, the Department:
- Did not always determine whether reports of child abuse and neglect were "unfounded" or "indicated" within 60 days.
- Failed to initiate some investigations of child abuse and neglect within 24 hours of receipt.
® All contracts were not reviewed and signed prior to the beginning of the contract period.
® Interstate adoption assistance agreements were not annually verified as required by State law.
® Economic interest statements were not all filed by the due date.
® Personal use of State vehicles was not added to employees' income.
® All overtime worked was not evidenced by proper prior approval.
® Additional monitoring procedures are needed over residential and group home service providers.
® The Department did not perform sufficient monitoring of its contractors providing services to children.
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† FINANCIAL AUDIT AND COMPLIANCE EXAMINATION
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† For The Year Ended June 30, 2004
!† Total Expenditures (All Funds)...................
†††† OPERATIONS TOTAL.................................
†††††††† % of Total Expenditures........................
†††††††† Personal Services...................................
††††††††††† % of Operations Expenditures...........
††††††††††† Average No. of Employees...............
†††††††† Other Payroll Costs (FICA,
††††††††††† % of Operations Expenditures...........
†††††††† Contractual Services...............................
††††††††††† % of Operations Expenditures...........
†††††††† All Other Operations Items.....................
†††††††† †† % of Operations Expenditures......................
†††† LUMP SUM AND OTHER PURPOSES TOTAL..........................................................
†††††††† % of Total Expenditures.............................
†††† AWARDS AND GRANTS TOTAL................
†††††††† % of Total Expenditures........................
!† Cost of Property and Equipment (unaudited).
SELECTED ACTIVITY MEASURES (unaudited)
!† Hotline Calls.........................................................
!† Children served in-
†††† - ††† Regular foster care..........................................
- Specialized foster care.....................................
- Relative care...................................................
- Residential placements.....................................
- Independent living............................................
!. Finalized adoptions................................................
†††† During Audit Period:† Mr. Bryan Samuels
†††† Currently:† Mr. Bryan Samuels
Department did not receive guidance or documentation with the billings from CMS
Department staff state they have not experienced savings from the initiatives
Efficiency payments were made from line items that had available monies
Efficiency initiative payments totaled $6,537,191
Child case files incomplete and not timely prepared
All child abuse and neglect investigations not timely completed
All child abuse and neglect reports not investigated timely
Contracts signed after beginning of contract period
Noncompliance with State law
16 employees filed statements late
Taxable income not reported for personal use of State vehicles
Overtime approvals missing or incomplete
Additional monitoring procedures needed
Providers paid in excess of $218 million in FY 04
Department officials acknowledge contracts lack specific identifiable measurable criteria
Insufficient monitoring of contractors providing services to children
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS
PAYMENTS WERE MADE FOR EFFICIENCY INITIATIVE BILLINGS FROM IMPROPER LINE ITEM APPROPRIATIONS
††††† The Department made payments for efficiency initiative billings from improper line item appropriations.† Public Act 93-0025, in part, outlines a program for efficiency initiatives to reorganize, restructure, and reengineer the business processes of the State.† The State Finance Act details that the amount designated as savings from efficiency initiatives implemented by the Department of Central Management Services (CMS) shall be paid into the Efficiency Initiatives Revolving Fund.† The Act further requires State agencies to pay these amounts from line item appropriations where cost savings are anticipated to occur.
††††† The Department did not receive guidance or documentation with the billings from CMS detailing from which line item appropriations savings were anticipated to occur.† Department staff reported that the Department has not experienced any savings from the initiatives.† The only guidance received was the amount of payments that should be taken from General Revenue Funds versus other funds for the September 2003 billings.† However, the Department paid all the billings from General Revenue Fund appropriations.
††††† The Department made payments for these billings not from line item appropriations where the cost savings were anticipated to have occurred but from the line items that could afford the payments.† The Department used:
- $2,887,191 from personal services appropriations from the Child Welfare-Downstate Regions Division.
- $2,500,000 from personal services appropriations from the Child Welfare-Cook Region Division.
- $1,150,000 from personal services appropriations from the Child Protection-Cook Region Division.
The Department paid a total of $6,537,191 for the efficiency initiatives.† (Finding 1, pages 12-13)
We recommended the Department only make payments for efficiency initiative billings from line item appropriations where savings would be anticipated to occur.† Further, the Department should seek an explanation from the Department of Central Management Services as to how savings levels were calculated, or otherwise arrived at, and how savings achieved or anticipated impact the Department's budget.
Department officials responded that some of the savings were expected to be in the payroll appropriations as a result of potential consolidation of staff but other appropriation line items would have also been impacted.† Further, the Department intended to make appropriate expenditure transfers to the lines that savings actually occurred once they were realized.† Also, they stated CMS will provide information to the Department on the method by which savings estimates were derived.
INCOMPLETE AND UNTIMELY CHILD WELFARE AND FOSTER CARE FILES
††††† The Department's Child Welfare and Foster Care files lacked required documentation.† During our review of 60 case files, we noted:† 6 initial case plans were not maintained in the file and 14 initial case plans were not prepared on a timely basis; 1 case file could not be located; 19 administrative case reviews were not prepared timely; and 3 medical and dental consent forms were not maintained in the file.† Also, six files out of 30 tested did not contain current photos of the child.† Department procedures and State law (705 ILCS 405/2-10.1, Juvenile Court Act of 1987) prescribe deadlines and documentation requirements for file maintenance.† The failure to follow Department procedures and State law or maintain documentation of such is not in the best interest of the children being served.† (Finding 2, pages 14-15)† This finding was first reported in 1998.
††††† Department officials stated they will continue to stress the importance of timely preparation and retention of documentation in child welfare files.† They stated they have been implementing revised practices for providing childcare using the new practices in designing and implementing a new information system.† They intend to include controls for much of the required documentation in the new system.† (For the previous agency response, see Digest Footnote #1.)
OVERDUE CHILD ABUSE/NEGLECT INVESTIGATIONS
††††† Reports of child abuse and neglect were not always determined within 60 days as required by the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.† The Act states the Department shall determine, within 60 days, whether a report is "unfounded" or "indicated" and provides that the Department may extend the period up to an additional 30 days for good cause.† Department statistics indicate the following noncompliance:
Fiscal††††† † Total†††††††††† † Reports Not††††††† Percent of Reports
†Year†††††† Reports†††††††† In Compliance†††††† Not In Compliance
†2004††††† 62,069†††††††††††††††††† 1,294†††††††††††††††††††† 2.08%
†2003††††† 58,956†††††††††††††††††† †† 952†††††††††††††††††††† 1.61%
†2002††††† 59,080†††††††††††††††††† †† 492†††††††††††††††††††† 0.83%
†2001††††† 59,003†††††††††††††††††† †† 226†††††††††††††††††††† 0.38%
†2000††††† 61,787†††††††††††††††††† †† 187†††††††††††††††††††† 0.30%
†1999††††† 62,054†††††††††††††††††† 1,502†††††††††††††††††††† 2.42%
†1998††††† 65,877†††††††††††††††††† 2,125†††††††††††††††††††† 3.23%
†1997††††† 68,124†††††††††††††††††† 1,223†††††††††††††††††††† 1.80%
††††† Failure to make a determination of a report within 60 days is a violation of the Act, could delay the implementation of a service plan, and could result in further endangerment of the child.† (Finding 5, pages 18-19)† This finding was first reported in 1998.
††††† We recommended the Department determine reports of child abuse or neglect within 60 days as mandated by State law.
††††† Department officials stated they will continue in their efforts to achieve 100% compliance in the future.† (For the previous agency response, see Digest Footnote #2.)
NEED TO INITIATE INVESTIGATIONS WITHIN 24 HOURS OF RECEIPT
††††† The Department did not initiate an investigation of every child abuse and neglect case within 24 hours of receipt of the report as required by the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.† Department statistics indicate the following noncompliance:
Fiscal††††† Total††††††††††† Reports Not†††††††† Percent of Reports
†Year†††††† Reports†††††††† In Compliance†††††† Not In Compliance
†2004††††† 62,311††††††††††††††††††††† †† 268†††††††††††††† 0.43%
†2003††††† 59,397††††††††††††††††††††† †† 220†††††††††††††† 0.37%
†2002††††† 59,241††††††††††††††††††††† †† 517†††††††††††††† 0.87%
†2001††††† 60,054††††††††††††††††††††† †† 141†††††††††††††† 0.23%
†2000††††† 61,787††††††††††††††††††††† †† 219†††††††††††††† 0.35%
†1999††††† 62,618††††††††††††††††††††† †† 250†††††††††††††† 0.40%
†1998††††† 65,862††††††††††††††††††††† †† 461†††††††††††††† 0.70%
†1997††††† 67,657††††††††††††††††††††† †† 426†††††††††††††† 0.63%
††††† Failure to respond to a report of abuse or neglect within 24 hours is a violation of the Act and could result in further endangerment of the child.† (Finding 6, pages 20-21)† This finding was first reported in 1998.
††††† We recommended the Department continue to strive to initiate investigations of all child abuse and neglect reports within 24 hours of receiving the report as mandated by State law.
††††† Department officials responded they will continue efforts to try to achieve 100% compliance in the future.† (For the previous agency response, see Digest Footnote #3.)
UNTIMELY APPROVAL OF CONTRACTS
††††† The Department did not have an adequate system in place to ensure that contracts are reviewed and signed on a timely basis.† During our review of 36 contracts, we noted that 18 contracts, totaling $61,938,877, were signed after the beginning of the contract period.† All contracts must be approved prior to services being performed.† Sound internal control requires contracts be reviewed and signed prior to their inception to be binding and enforceable.† Department personnel indicated they are unable to sign contracts until the amount has been appropriated which occurs after the start of the fiscal year.† (Finding 7, page 22)† This finding was first reported in 2002.
††††† We recommended the Department process and approve the contracts before the beginning of the contract period.† A contractual clause can be used to make the contracts effective subsequent to the appropriation being signed into law.
††††† Department officials responded they have reviewed procedures and contract language to develop processes that will allow compliance with applicable rules and statutes and a number of changes have been made.† They stated a new tracking mechanism has been implemented which has increased accountability over each contract and enhanced efficiencies in processing contract information.† (For the previous agency response, see Digest Footnote #4.)
NEED TO VERIFY INTERSTATE ADOPTION ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS
††††† The Department does not annually verify that adoption assistance agreements for children who are subject to agreements with another state are still in force or have been renewed.† The Interstate Compact on Adoption Act requires the Department to at least annually establish that the agreement is still in force or has been renewed.† According to the Department, the Department of Human Services (DHS) tracks the children's status, has a database to monitor the day-to-day activities, and annually verifies that the adoption assistance agreements are still in force for each child.† (Finding 8, page 23)† This finding was first reported in 2003.
††††† We recommended the Department establish a tracking system and annually verify that adoption assistance agreements are still in force or have been renewed or seek a legislative change to the Act to allow DHS to perform this function.
††††† Department officials agreed that they are not currently tracking each of the approximately 600 agreements and that DHS has been performing this function for the last several years.† (For the previous agency response, see Digest Footnote #5.)
ECONOMIC INTEREST STATEMENTS FILED LATE
††††† Economic interest statements were not all filed with the Secretary of State on a timely basis.† During our review of 53 employee economic interest statements, we noted 16 were filed late ranging from 4 to 20 days.† The Illinois Governmental Ethics Act requires certain persons file a statement by May 1st of each year or be subject to penalties.† Failure to file by May 31st shall result in forfeiture of position of employment.† (Finding 9, page 24)
††††† Department officials agreed with our recommendation to continue to monitor employees and send reminders about the requirement to file the statements and the consequences of not doing so.
PERSONAL USE OF STATE VEHICLES NOT REPORTED AND INCLUDED IN EMPLOYEE'S INCOME
††††† Taxable fringe benefits relating to the personal use of State vehicles were not properly added to employee's income.† We noted eight employees had personal use of State vehicles for commuting to and from the office.† According to the Internal Revenue Service requirements, the Department should treat the fair value of employee personal use of a State vehicle as a taxable fringe benefit to be included in the employee's income.† Commuting to and from the office in a State vehicle is considered personal use of the vehicle.† (Finding 11, page 27)
††††† We recommended the Department implement a procedure to add the required amount to each employee's income who is provided a State vehicle which is used for commuting.
††††† Department officials responded they will review procedures to track personal use of State vehicles and add required amounts to each employee's income for tax reporting purposes.
EMPLOYEES WORKED OVERTIME WITHOUT PROPER PRIOR APPROVAL
††††† Department employees worked overtime without proper prior approval.† Department policy requires that overtime be approved before it is worked.† We selected a sample of 73 daily staff attendance reports where overtime was charged and reviewed the related overtime approval sheets.† We noted:
- 2 overtime request forms were missing,
- 1 approval sheet was not approved by a supervisor,
- 14 approval sheets were approved after the overtime was worked,
- 4 employees' timesheets and overtime approval sheets were missing, and
- 4 overtime approval sheets were not dated by the supervisor.
Failure to obtain proper prior approval for overtime may result in an employee being compensated for overtime not actually performed or necessary.† During fiscal year 2004, $3,083,262 was paid to 2,045 employees for overtime.† (Finding 12, page 28)† This finding was first reported in 2002.
††††††† We recommended the Department enforce its policies regarding prior approval of overtime.
††††††† Department officials responded they will review the detailed procedures followed to prepare and maintain the completed forms and revise or re-issue the procedures and instructions for staff and supervisors as necessary.† (For the previous agency response, see Digest Footnote #6.)
INADEQUATE CONTRACT MONITORING
††††† The Department had not performed effective monitoring of its residential and group home service providers.† The Department contracts with approximately 100 institutions to provide residential, group home, emergency shelter services, and other services.† The total paid to these providers during fiscal year 2004 was in excess of $218 million.† Many of the institutions have multiple contracts covering the same annual period with each contract covering a separate service.
††††† Some of the problems noted relating to these contracts include:
® Service provided before the contract was signed and approved;
® No on-site monitoring for most providers;
® No specific measurable criteria within the contracts; and
® Insufficient fiscal monitoring of contract payments.
As currently described in the service provider contracts, residential providers are to be monitored predominately through annual licensure reviews, the submission of annual independent certified audits and interagency financial reports, reviews of behavioral management plans, monthly reviews of treatment plans, and following up on incidents reported at the institutions.† Although these are the activities that are supposed to take place, certain of them are either not being performed or are not sufficient to provide for effective monitoring.
Department officials indicated that the causes for the lack of regular on-site monitoring were limited resources to maintain the program, track information, report on monitoring activities and a lack of specific identifiable measurable criteria within the service provider contracts.† The Department also indicated that services were provided prior to the approval of contracts due to ongoing placement at these particular facilities.† There were instances where the Department requested detailed accounting records from service providers and the Department has not received them.† The Department's inability to perform effective monitoring does not provide reasonable assurance that the program is achieving the desired results and that funds are being spent appropriately.† (Finding 14, pages 30-31)† This finding was first reported in 2003.
Department officials agreed that there was a need for additional monitoring of residential and group home service providers.† Creation of this function was included in their FY 05 budget and they state the Residential Performance Monitoring Unit is fully functional as of January 2005.† (For the previous agency response, see Digest Footnote #7.)
INSUFFICIENT MONITORING OF SUBRECIPIENT PROVIDERS
††††† The Department does not perform sufficient monitoring of its contractors providing services to children.† While the Department has taken some actions, other areas still need to be addressed.
††††† During a previous audit, we selected three providers that had contracts with the Department and performed onsite audit procedures in the areas of expenditures, payroll/personnel, and inventory.† The results of this testing indicated that the Department's monitoring activities were not reasonably designed to detect instances of non-compliance with laws and regulations by purchase of service providers.† In the last audit we recommended that the Department:
® complete the decision-making process for a provider with disallowed costs and refer its findings, if appropriate, to the Attorney General;
® devote sufficient resources to the field audit function; and,
® develop more rigorous self-reporting requirements for providers.
The Department agreed with our conclusions and accepted the recommendation.
††††† In November 2003, the Department did refer one of the providers from our original testing to the Attorney General for investigation or other court action for disallowed costs totaling over $373,000.
††††† At the end of FY 03, the Department did consider the resources allocated to provider oversight functions in the Office of Field Audits.† However, no action was taken until May 2004 to increase the headcount of auditing staff.† The Office of Field Audits conducts onsite fiscal audits of provider agencies and is responsible for desk reviews of provider annual audit reports.
††††† The Department previously responded it would "consider" implementing additional requirements on provider reporting.† The Department has not implemented additional requirements on provider reporting, nor were any documents provided during this audit illustrating any ideas for additional self-reporting requirements for providers.† (Finding 15, pages 32-33)† This finding was first reported in 2000.
††††† We recommended the Department devote sufficient resources to the field audit function that allows for sufficient monitoring of provider organizations.† Further, the Department should develop more rigorous self-reporting requirements for providers.
††††† Department officials concurred and stated that staffing levels were increased during FY 04 and the number of audits and desk reviews has increased as the staff was added.† Additionally, they continue to review the reporting and record keeping requirements for providers.† (For the previous agency response, see Digest Footnote #8.)
††††† The remaining findings are less significant and are reportedly being given attention by the Department.† We will review progress toward the implementation of our recommendations during the next examination.
††††† Mr. Bryan Samuels, Director, provided the Departmentís responses.
††††† Our auditors stated the Department's June 30, 2004 financial statements are fairly presented in all material respects.
WILLIAM G. HOLLAND, Auditor General
SPECIAL ASSISTANT AUDITORS
††††† Our special assistant auditors were McGladrey & Pullen, LLP.
#1:† INCOMPLETE AND UNTIMELY CHILD WELFARE AND FOSTER CARE FILES - Previous Agency Response
2003:†††† The Department continues to stress the importance of adequate and timely documentation for child and family cases.† As noted in the chart shown in the finding, many of the cases selected in the sample have been open for more than three years.† For these cases, we cannot correct past failures, however we strive to ensure current requirements are met.
Additionally, the Department has been implementing Best Practices for Child Welfare and using the new practices in designing and implementing the Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System.† It is our intention to automate much of the documentation required to be included in the child/family case file.
#2:† OVERDUE CHILD ABUSE/NEGLECT INVESTIGATIONS - Previous Agency Response
2003:†††† The Department will continue its efforts to achieve 100% compliance.† As the new SACWIS system is implemented statewide, adjustments are made to work procedures in the use of the system, and as additional training on procedures and use of the tools provided by automation take place it is expected compliance will improve.
Management of the Division of Child Protection meets regularly to discuss investigations that were not completed within 60 days and where no extension was requested or granted.† The responsible manager must explain the failure to meet the 60 day requirement and, if warranted, disciplinary action is initiated against the investigator and their supervisor.
#3:† NEED TO INITIATE INVESTIGATIONS WITHIN 24 HOURS OF RECEIPT - Previous Agency Response
2003:†††† The Department continues to strive to initiate investigations of all child abuse and neglect reports within 24 hours of receiving reports and achieve 100% compliance.† Weekly reports of missed dates are prepared and analyzed by Quality Assurance/Monitoring personnel and by Child Protection managers.† Child Protection management meets regularly to identify the cause for any investigation not meeting the 24-hour investigation initiation.† If warranted, disciplinary action is initiated against the investigator and their supervisor.
#4:† UNTIMELY APPROVAL OF CONTRACTS - Previous Agency Response
2003:†††† The Department agrees with the finding.† We are reviewing procedures and contract language in order to develop a process that will allow compliance with the applicable rules including filing of late filing affidavit forms, where required.† We do not believe any improper or unauthorized payments were made during the fiscal year.
††††††††††††† A number of changes have been made to procedures for developing and administering contracts for services.† A new tracking mechanism has been implemented which has increased accountability over each contract and enhanced efficiencies in processing contract information in the Department's information systems.
#5:† NEED TO VERIFY INTERSTATE ADOPTION ASSISTANCE AGREEMENTS - Previous Agency Response
2003:†††† The Department agrees that the DCFS Interstate Compact office is not currently tracking each of the approximately 600 agreements.† However, we believe the state is in compliance with the spirit of the Interstate Compact on Adoption Act (45 ILCS 17/5-35).† While DCFS is not currently tracking the agreements, and never has, the Department of Human Services (DHS) has been performing this function for the last several years.
††††††††††††† DHS, through its Division of Human Capital Development, is inquiring of adoptive parents, annually, if the adoption subsidy is still in place.† DHS is also the agency that issues the medical card, administers payments, and performs the inquiry function by either contacting the IL caregiver directly or by contacting the sending state.† It would be duplicative and costly to have DCFS develop the staff and mechanisms for handling this function.† Therefore, the Department intends to seek a revision to the Interstate Compact on Adoption Act (45 ILCS 17/5-35) to allow DHS to perform this function.
#6:† OVERTIME WITHOUT PROPER PRIOR APPROVAL - Previous Agency Response
2003:†††† The Department agrees that no employee should be compensated for overtime unless it was worked and authorized.† The Department will be reviewing the detailed procedures followed to prepare and maintain the completed forms and will revise the procedures and instructions for staff and supervisors as necessary.
#7:† INADEQUATE CONTRACT MONITORING - Previous Agency Response
2003: ††† The Department agrees that there is a need for additional monitoring of residential and group home service providers.† We are currently in the process of establishing a residential monitoring unit with a target implementation date of July 2004.† The unit will be responsible for conducting consistent on-site monitoring of residential and group home facilities that provide treatment for our children.† This unit will establish measurable criteria for performance and process outcomes that will lead to quality services and life domain outcomes for our children.† The results of the monitoring function will become an integral part of the contract negotiations with each provider.
††††††††††††† In the interim, we will continue to evaluate resource needs, identify guidelines and criteria for measuring performance and timely information reporting, and identify ways to enforce the guidelines not met.
#8:† INSUFFICIENT MONITORING OF SUBRECIPIENT PROVIDERS - Previous Agency Response
2003:†††† The Department concurs.† Information identified in the investigation of the provider has been referred to the Office of the Attorney General.† Additionally, we have evaluated staffing levels and, as resources permit, plan to add positions in the field audits unit to help us to do a better job with fiscal monitoring of contracts.
††††††††††††† We are also, as discussed in our response to Finding #03-10, evaluating reporting criteria and requirements for these residential subrecipient service providers.