Sen. Markley Statement on Auditors Report DSS/DSNAP

October 11, 2012

Hartford, CT – Senator Joe Markley (R-Southington) ranking member on the Human Services Committee released the following statement today re: the auditors report concerning DSNAP.

“What this report shows is the Department of Social Services was overwhelmed and never stopped to take a step back and review what it was doing in order to get control over the situation. The department was planning on 3,000 applications and they got 25,000 applications. They did not adjust their plan.

“What is the purpose of the DSNAP program one month after the emergency? We have a stewardship over federal money and we shouldn’t just hand out money to hand out money.

“The focus should never have been about catching people – I’m not condoning breaking the law, but let’s set up a system that works better. A 55 % error rate is ludicrous. Workers could have simply asked questions about proper verification and that alone might have given people pause.

“We ought to look at this program in the macro. What is it all about and let’s find out what the department is doing to address it and fix it before the next storm comes.

“This audit is information we needed so that we can do our job and fix the program. There needs to be oversight by the legislature. I will call for hearings in order to gather information on how the department responded.

“I respect the commissioner and don’t doubt he wants to do a good job but what’s the concrete plan for the next time? We have to be ready at any moment.”