MDHHS Office of Inspector General receives $600,000 grant to prevent food assistance fraud; Efforts ensure dollars available to those most in need

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 30, 2020 

CONTACT: Bob Wheaton, 517-241-2112

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Office of Inspector General has received a $600,000 boost to its ongoing efforts to prevent food assistance fraud.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the award of $601,350 to enhance the program integrity of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that in Michigan provides food assistance benefits to approximately 1.2 million people.

“MDHHS is focused on SNAP program integrity so that the limited federal dollars that are available can benefit families that need assistance,” said MDHHS Inspector General Alan Kimichik. “This funding allows the Office of Inspector General to continue using the groundbreaking technology that’s already been successfully implemented while making enhancements that increase efficiencies and execute concepts identified in the SNAP Fraud Framework. We will be implementing enhancements and additional automation not previously envisioned or available, increasing our efforts to ensure taxpayer funding is benefiting those truly in need.”

The Office of Inspector General’s grant award is focused on using data analytics and enhanced case management systems to detect and prevent fraud.

It will pay to modernize the Office of Inspector General’s investigative case management system known as the Michigan Inspector General System. Upgrades will improve access to reports and dashboards for investigators and the office’s management team. It also will provide for increased security of data with lower operating costs using a U.S. government cloud-based system.

This two-year grant will fund projects that support implementing the SNAP Fraud Framework – a collection of procedures, innovative ideas and best practices provided to state agencies in May 2018. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service created the SNAP Fraud Framework to improve state efforts to detect, investigate and prevent SNAP recipient fraud.

# # #