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State Administrative Errors 2016 - Legislative Report

Report to the Governor and the Legislature on Administrative Errors in Alternative Payment, CalWORKs, and General Child Care Programs for Fiscal Year 2015-16.
California Department of Education
Report to the Governor and the Legislature:
Administrative Errors in Alternative Payment, CalWORKs,
and General Child Care Programs for Fiscal Year 2015-16
Executive Summary

This report is submitted in compliance with Provision 4(b) of Item 6100-001-0890 of the Budget Act of 2015. Provision 4(b) requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to select a statistically valid sample of family data files from contractors offering full-day child care and development programs and to analyze these sample files to estimate rates of administrative errors in four different categories: (1) eligibility, (2) need, (3) family fee, and (4) provider reimbursement. Provision 4(b) also requires the CDE to report the estimated error rates annually to the Governor and the Legislature. In implementing Provision 4(b), the CDE has also used federal regulations for Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act (IPERA) as guidance.

As required by Provision 4(b), the CDE created the Alternative Payment Monitoring Unit (APMU) in 2006. The APMU had six staff members and was responsible for conducting error rate reviews of approximately 75 Alternative Payment Program (APP) contractors. The current estimated errors as percentage of total payments rate for all the reviewed APP contractors Fiscal Year (FY) 2015–16 is 11.1 percent (see Appendix A). Prior to this FY, the contractors reviewed by the APMU had an average estimated error rate of 13.33 percent, compared to the same contractors' current average estimated error rate of 8.3 percent (see Appendix B).

The Center-Based Monitoring Unit (CMU) was created in 2009 in response to federal regulations extending error rate requirements to full-day centers. The CMU had five staff members and was responsible for conducting error rate reviews of approximately 680 center-based program contractors. Prior to this FY, the error rate for full-day center-based program contractors was 36.5 percent. The baseline error rate for FY 2015–16 is 26.6 percent (see Appendix C).

For FY 2015–16, the CDE’s Early Learning and Care Division (ELCD) reorganized and merged the APMU and CMU to create the Governance and Administration Unit (GAU). The GAU is responsible for conducting all error rate reviews.

Prior to FY 2015–16, selection of contractors for baseline reviews was based on their size and compliance history. In FY 2015–16, the GAU focused on baseline reviews of center-based contractors that have not been reviewed in five (5) years and/or those that fell under one or more of CDE/ELCD’s risk assessment categories.

The APP contractors’ low average error rate may be attributed to the contractors’ implementation of their respective Error Rate Reduction Plans (ERRPs) and ELCD trainings and technical assistance, which contractors received in clusters and/or in one-on-one sessions. For the center-based contractors’ baseline reviews error rate, the CDE expects that, over time, the GAU reviews will yield a reduced error rate similar to the reduction in APP contractors’ error rate. The CDE expects substantial reductions in error rates when these same CMU contractors receive technical assistance and complete follow-up reviews. For the CDE to fully accomplish its goal of reducing the center-based contractors’ error rate to a level similar to that of the APP contractors’ error rate, theELCD will need additional staff in the GAU.

The CDE conducts both state and federal reviews and notes the findings of administrative errors. An administrative error does not indicate that a family was factually ineligible or received services for which the family was not entitled. Frequently, errors indicate there was insufficient evidence in the file to support the decisions made by the contractor.

Administrative Errors in Alternative Payment, CalWORKs and General Child Care Programs for Fiscal Year 2015-16 Legislative Report (PDF)

For questions about the report or to request a copy, please contact Erica Otiono, Administrator, Field Services Office A, CDE ELCD, by phone at 916-319-0338 or by e‑mail at eotiono@cde.ca.gov.

Questions:   Early Learning and Care Division | 916-322-6233
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, December 26, 2018
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