Within the limits of available appropriations, the commissioner of human services shall require the maintenance of budget neutral fraud prevention investigation programs in the counties participating in the fraud prevention investigation project established under this section. If funds are sufficient, the commissioner may also extend fraud prevention investigation programs to other counties provided the expansion is budget neutral to the state. Under any expansion, the commissioner has the final authority in decisions regarding the creation and realignment of individual county or regional operations.
Each participating county agency shall develop and submit an annual staffing and funding proposal to the commissioner no later than April 30 of each year. Each proposal shall include, but not be limited to, the staffing and funding of the fraud prevention investigation program, a job description for investigators involved in the fraud prevention investigation program, and the organizational structure of the county agency unit, training programs for case workers, and the operational requirements which may be directed by the commissioner. The proposal shall be approved, to include any changes directed or negotiated by the commissioner, no later than June 30 of each year.
The commissioner shall establish training programs which shall be attended by all investigative and supervisory staff of the involved county agencies. The commissioner shall also develop the necessary operational guidelines, forms, and reporting mechanisms, which shall be used by the involved county agencies. An individual's application or redetermination form for public assistance benefits, including child care assistance programs and medical care programs, must include an authorization for release by the individual to obtain documentation for any information on that form which is involved in a fraud prevention investigation. The authorization for release is effective for six months after public assistance benefits have ceased.
(a) County agency reimbursement shall be made through the settlement provisions applicable to the food stamp or food support program, MFIP, child care assistance programs, the medical assistance program, and other federal and state-funded programs.
(b) The commissioner will maintain program compliance if for any three consecutive month period, a county agency fails to comply with fraud prevention investigation program guidelines, or fails to meet the cost-effectiveness standards developed by the commissioner. This result is contingent on the commissioner providing written notice, including an offer of technical assistance, within 30 days of the end of the third or subsequent month of noncompliance. The county agency shall be required to submit a corrective action plan to the commissioner within 30 days of receipt of a notice of noncompliance. Failure to submit a corrective action plan or, continued deviation from standards of more than ten percent after submission of a corrective action plan, will result in denial of funding for each subsequent month, or billing the county agency for fraud prevention investigation (FPI) service provided by the commissioner, or reallocation of program grant funds, or investigative resources, or both, to other counties. The denial of funding shall apply to the general settlement received by the county agency on a quarterly basis and shall not reduce the grant amount applicable to the FPI project.