OIG Publishes Audit of DFSS Homeless Services

OIG Publishes Audit of DFSS Homeless Services

The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) has completed an audit of the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) homeless services. From 2013 to 2014 DFSS spent approximately $60.0 million in taxpayer funds on delegate agencies providing homeless services. The audit reviewed how DFSS selected and monitored the delegate agencies providing homeless services during this time period and found that the Department may not have uniformly selected the most qualified agencies to provide homeless services during this time period.

Specifically OIG found,

  • inaccuracies in the scoring and ranking of delegate agencies’ proposals for funding including incorrect calculation of some agencies’ total scores;
  • a flaw in the Department’s program monitoring audit tool may allow some negative findings to go unrecorded;
  • if DFSS auditors identified errors in an agency’s quarterly report varying by over 20%, the errors were fixed, however,  the Department did not hold the agency accountable for misreporting performance data.

OIG recommended that DFSS improve training and quality control over its delegate agency application review process and design its audit tool to capture all known findings. OIG also recommended that the Department do more to hold delegate agencies accountable for misreporting performance data. In response, DFSS stated that it has implemented a new application scoring system to address human errors in the application scoring process and it has instructed its auditors to record observed issues irrespective of whether they appear in a sample. DFSS also committed to improving verification of delegate agency performance.

“DFSS homeless services has the challenging responsibility of administering the distribution of federal funds on behalf of the City in manner that most effectively reaches some of Chicago’s most under-resourced populations,” said Inspector General Joe Ferguson. “Choosing the most qualified agencies and ensuring that those agencies comply with local and federal program requirements are critical to providing quality service to a population that is unlikely to advocate for itself. DFSS’ response to our audit findings reflects a clear resolve to the continuing improvement of both.”

The full report, and the City’s response to the findings, can be found online at the OIG website: http://bit.ly/DFSSHS.

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