The D.C. Department of Human Resources wrongfully claimed some $323,000 in federal reimbursements for day care, health services and workers' salaries under the work incentive program (WIN) for welfare mothers during fiscal year 1975, according to a recently released audit.
Acting DHR director Albert P. Russo acknowledged the erroneous claims and agreed to repay the money in a letter last December to the Health, Education and Welfare Department auditor who conducted the study.
HEW charged that DHR wrongly billed it for $123,738 in day care services, including several year's of care provided to some children whose mothers were never in the WIN program.
DHR also claimed $92,228 in health services erroneously provided to persons also were not WIN enrollees, the study found.
In addition, DHR billed WIN for $107.626 in salaries for 48 persons who were supposed to work only on WIN. Some of the employees were unfamiliar with the program. Others had no time to work on WIN or did not hav e work reports to slow WIN-related duties, and one supervisor's only WIN responsibility was the signing of monthly reports, the auditors found. add two win-1
The WIN program is an eight-year-old joint effort by the department of Labor and HEW, designed to train and employ welfare parents. Any one applying for welfare (Aid to Families with Dependant Children) is required to register for the program. Nationally three-fourths of the participants are women.
The federal governement provided the District about $1.7 million, or 90 per cent of its WIN costs during fiscal year 1975, including the $323,000 in erroneous payments, according to the HEW report.
The HEW sampling found, for example, that DHR has paid $94.50 a month to a day-care institution since 1971 for a child whose mother never enrolled for work or training. It was not documented that the child ever received these services, the report said.
Another $83,076 was paid day care providers for services to families on whom DHR had no case files. Some $75,000 of the sum was federal money, the audit found.
DHR also used $92,228 in WIN money to set up clinics, medical laboratories, dental offices and first aid stations at two of its clinics. The facilities were supposed to be for WIN participants only, but HEW found that WIN participants could get services only during certain hours on two days a week, while city emploe!yees and other persons benefited from the services the rest of the time.
DHR also billed WIN for the salaries of persons who were handling numerous other programs, although federal regulations mandate a clear separation of duties for accurate billing on WIN administration activities. In one case, a $14,000-a-year vocational rehabiliation specialist could not be found in the appropriate office. DHR readily conceded the salary was erroneoulsy billed to WIN, the report said.
DHR also claimed that it had not billed WIN for $92,965 in rightful fringe benefits claims, and asked to have that charged against the $107,000 in wrongful salary claims, according to Russo's letter.