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2000 Session

Budget Bill - HB29 (Chapter 1072)

Department of Social Services

Item 397

Item 397

First Year - FY1999Second Year - FY2000
Administrative and Support Services (47900)$45,902,590$48,398,903
$50,402,094
General Management and Direction (47901)FY1999 $2,919,626FY2000 $3,305,884
$4,859,075
Computer Services (47902)FY1999 $32,684,849FY2000 $34,733,119
$35,183,119
Accounting and Budgeting Services (47903)FY1999 $2,489,959FY2000 $2,506,309
Personnel Services (47914)FY1999 $1,284,223FY2000 $1,294,196
Planning and Evaluation Services (47916)FY1999 $3,511,811FY2000 $3,540,461
Procurement and Distribution Services (47918)FY1999 $2,768,807FY2000 $2,775,619
Administrative and Support Services for Individual and Family Economic Independence Services (47930)FY1999 $243,315FY2000 $243,315
Fund Sources:  
GeneralFY1999 $16,221,388FY2000 $17,142,451
$17,344,951
SpecialFY1999 $3,092,484FY2000 $3,092,484
Federal TrustFY1999 $26,588,718FY2000 $28,163,968
$29,964,659

Authority: Title 63.1, Chapter 1, Title 9-6:14:1 et seq., Code of Virginia; P.L. 98-502, P.L. 104-156, P.L. 104-193, P.L. 104-327, P.L. 105-33, Federal Code, as amended.


A. The Commissioner of the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Secretaries of Administration and Health and Human Resources shall develop an automated system for eligibility and service programs that include Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Food Stamps, and Medicaid. The maximum use of federal funds for this purpose shall be explored.


B.1. To provide adequate oversight of the implementation of automated systems, and to ensure coordination with local social services agencies, the Department of Social Services shall maintain a Local Information Technology Planning Committee. The Committee shall include one representative each from the Council on Information Management, the Department of Information Technology, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Medical Assistance Services, and the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, and at least five local social services personnel to be selected by the Virginia League of Social Service Executives. The Committee shall provide advice to the Commissioner on all computer and telecommunications systems operated by the Department in support of programs administered by local social services agencies.


2. The Department shall retain the services of a qualified independent contractor with appropriate experience in information technology project management and systems integration to perform periodic audits of the performance of the ADAPT project. Such audits shall be conducted under the direction of the DSS Local Information Planning Committee and shall include, but not be limited to, the progress of the project in terms of: (a) planned versus actual work plan activities, (b) milestones and deliverables, (c) critical path activities, (d) execution of risk reduction activities, and (e) application of any contingency plans. The audit contractor shall report audit exceptions in a timely manner, note any areas of concern, and recommend remedial actions. At least semiannually, the audit contractor shall issue a written report including audit findings, recommendations, and the results to date of any follow-up actions by the Department. The contractor shall distribute such reports to the Commissioner of Social Services, the DSS Local Information Technology Planning Committee, the Governor, the Department of Planning and Budget, the Council on Information Management, and the Chairmen of the Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committees.


3.a. The Department of Social Services shall own hardware and database management software purchased with funds appropriated to it. The Department of Information Technology may charge the Department of Social Services for operations and maintenance of such equipment and products but may not include any portion of the purchase price in the calculation of such charges. The Department of Information Technology may not use or sell the excess capacity resulting from these purchases, except pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Departments of Planning and Budget, Information Technology, and Social Services. Any such MOU must provide for appropriate reimbursement to the general fund and any federal grant contributions for the purchases.


b. Recovery of the federal share of the cost of computer equipment in years following the Department's original purchase with general fund appropriation shall be deposited as revenue of the general fund in reimbursement for general fund expenditures made in prior years.


C. As a condition of the appropriation for this Item, pursuant to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Public Law No. 104-193, the Department shall, in cooperation with local departments of social services, develop a request for a waiver of the work requirement for Food Stamp recipients residing in areas that do not have a sufficient number of jobs to provide employment for such individuals, including those areas designated as labor surplus areas by the U.S. Department of Labor.


D. The Department, in consultation with welfare recipients and welfare advocates, shall prepare and distribute brochures, videos, and other community education materials to explain fully, concisely, and simply the rights and responsibilities of welfare applicants and recipients under the Virginia Independence Program and the Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare.


E. The Department of Social Services, in cooperation with local departments of social services, shall study methods for improving incentives for participants in the Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare (VIEW) and other recipients of benefits through the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant to continue to work and save after their two-year benefit period has expired. The study shall include, but not be limited to, assessing (1) the feasibility of requiring direct deposit of welfare benefits, (2) the feasibility and benefits of creating economic literacy programs through local social services offices, (3) the creation of programs to encourage banks in the Commonwealth to offer special accounts without service charges for TANF recipients and to cash state benefit checks, and (4) other incentives.


F. The Commissioner, in conjunction with the Virginia League of Social Service Executives, shall study a system of workload measures for use as the basis for reimbursement to local departments, and provide a report to the Governor and Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees by November 1, 1998.


G. The Department shall commence advance planning and procurement for the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system required under Title Eight of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Public Law 104-193. That federal statute mandates that all states distribute Food Stamp benefits by electronic means by October 1, 2002.


H. Out of the amount for Computer Services, $1,213,068 from the general fund and $1,026,653 from nongeneral funds the first year and $1,897,231 from the general fund and $2,011,180 from nongeneral funds the second year shall be unallotted pending submission to the Department of Planning and Budget of information demonstrating need for the funds, including Department of Information Technology charges and payments for Unisys mainframe computer services through the most recent charge and payment made prior to the date of the request to allot funds.


I. The Department of Social Services, in collaboration with the Office of Comprehensive Services, shall provide training to local staff serving on Family Assessment and Planning Teams and Community Policy and Management Teams. Training shall include, but need not be limited to, the federal and state requirements pertaining to the provision of the foster care services funded under § 2.1-757, Code of Virginia. The training shall also include written guidance concerning which services remain the financial responsibility of the local departments of social services. Training shall be provided on a regional basis, but must be conducted prior to January 1, 2000. Written guidance shall be provided to local Comprehensive Services Act teams by July 1, 1999. In addition, the Department of Social Services shall provide ongoing local oversight of its federal and state requirements related to the provision of services funded under § 2.1-757, Code of Virginia.


J. The Department of Social Services, in cooperation with local departments of social services, shall promote the Children's Medical Security Insurance Plan in Southside Virginia localities and promptly enroll eligible children. The Department shall report to the Chairmen of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance Committees by May 1, 2000, and June 1, 2000, on their progress in enrolling children in the program.