Head Start: Undercover Testing Finds Fraud and Abuse at Selected Head Start Centers Page: 25 of 30
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In response HHS took a number of actions to strengthen program integrity
in general and the eligibility process specifically, including the following:
* Issuance of a Program Instruction (PI) which stated that Head Start
employees who examine the documents and make a determination of
eligibility must sign a statement attesting to their review of the specific
documents and the determination that the child is eligible to
participate based on family income. The PI also encourages programs
to maintain copies of the eligibility documents with the eligibility
verification form in the child's official record.
* Implementation of a Web hotline for the purpose of reporting fraud
and fiscal mismanagement.
* Review and analysis of the existing Head Start monitoring system to
ensure that (1) the verification of income eligibility is clearly
understood and fully implemented; (2) Head Start grantees are
providing regular training to employees who verify income; (3) Head
Start grantees have active waiting lists that, based on the Head Start
grantees' selection criteria as mandated in the 2007 Head Start Act,
include income-eligible children as well as categorically eligible
children, such as families receiving public assistance and homeless
children and families; and (4) Head Start grantees are taking a closer
look at their recruitment efforts and the need for the reallocation of
HHS officials also indicated that the agency has moved expeditiously to
begin a rule making process to strengthen the regulations on the eligibility
On September 14, 2010, we briefed OHS and HHS officials on the results of
our investigation of the Texas and Midwest grantees.
We are sending copies of this report to the Secretary of Health and Human
Services and other interested parties. The report will also be available at
no charge on the GAO Web site at http://www.gao.gov. If you or your staff
GAO-10-1049 Head Start
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United States. Government Accountability Office. Head Start: Undercover Testing Finds Fraud and Abuse at Selected Head Start Centers, report, September 28, 2010; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc296264/m1/25/: accessed May 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.