Montana. Legislature. Legislative Audit Division.

Vocational Rehabilitation Program, Department of Public Health and Human Services : performance audit report (Volume 1997) online

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cost sharing arrangements as appropriate.

B. MVR will review closed files as outlined above to monitor compliance with this
policy.

Recommendation tf9

We recommend MVR Program management establish controls to verify income for a sample
of MVR clients on a routine basis.

MVR Response: Thanks to the help of the auditors, MVR has identified the possibility of
contact with the Department of Labor to see if there is a connection we could establish to
randomly check income levels based on case review lists generated for the compliance
policy. We will begin immediately working with the Department of Labor to share this
information so that income can be validated.

Recommendation #10

We recommend the MVR Program strengthen management controls by requiring an award
letter or other necessary information prior to paying education expenses.

MVR Response: The financial award letter in the file is now a part of agency policy. The
only time when this is not possible, according to federal law, is in the first semester where
receipt of this letter would imduly delay services for the individual. No training after the
first quarter or semester, however can be provided by MVR until the financial award letter is
received.

Recommendation #11

We recommend MVR Program management:

A. Establish a policy to review cost information including direct and indirect costs for all
providers and services.



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B. Develop a process to routinely review fee limits to establish reasonable fees and
ensure compliance with 0MB Circulars A-87 and A-122 and ADA requirements.

MVR Response: MVR's Community Rehabilitation Specialist has already begun work with
DPHHS auditors on this subject. We are currently awaiting the result of a state wide
community rehabilitation program audit regarding fees and 0MB compliance. The agency
will then re-review its community rehabilitation program rates and the process for
establishing them.

Recommendation #12

We recommend MVR Program management identify and generate information to help

manage program resources including budgeting and analysis of purchasing in each region.

MVR Response: MVR is currently in the process of completely revamping its computer/data
base system. Budgeting and analysis of purchasing in each region are both specific reports
that we will be generating in addition to a lot of other information which should help the
program, particularly with its evaluation component. We intend to work with the Discovery
2000 program to emulate the types of reports recommended in this section. As we increase
our skill in gathering the information in this section, our capability to manage detailed
district information will increase dramatically. In addition, MVR is looking at the possibility
of even more specific regional budgets in an effort to allow our regional managers greater
flexibility and control in managing their budgets.

Recommendation #13

We recommend MVR Program management:

A. Revise goals that relate more to the purpose and mission of the program.

B. Establish measurable objectives which relate directly to goals and allow for attainable
results or outcomes.

MVR Response: MVR, through its state and strategic plans, is currently working on an
agency wide planning process to review goal setting and performance appraisals. The federal
Rehabilitation Services Commission is currently working on a series of bench mark indicators
that the states will be required to use in measuring outcomes. In addition, the department
itself is working on a series of bench marks that allow for identification of setting outcome
based goals and then measuring them accordingly. These federal and state bench marking
systems are expected to begin during the next federal fiscal year.

That said, however, the MVR Strategic Plan and our cycle of service contributes a great deal
to the concerns of having more tangible measurable goals with objectives governing the

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May, 1997



agency at the broadest level. MVR is an agency that is easily measured because of the
outcomes that we and our consumers achieve. The five major goals identified in the
Strategic Plan and the basic production requirements of the program will together begin to
affectively address these recommendations.

Recommendation H4

We recommend MVR Program management:

A. Identify what information would be useful to help manage program operations and
measure program outcomes.

B. Develop that information into useful management reports.

MVR Response: MVR continues to move toward an agency wide computer system which
will enhance our means of achieving this recommendation. We have also connected with the
Montana State University-Billings Rehabilitation Counseling faculty and we are currently
having discussions regarding the basis for evaluating the effectiveness of our program. We
are currently working with staff at all levels to identify which information would be the most
important to them to help manage our program's operations and our outcomes. Our new
computer system is helping us tremendously to identify more and better information that will
enhance our ability to do a better overall job of program evaluation.

Recommendation #15

We recommend MVR Program management develop performance measures to help assess

the success and/or effectiveness of the program, both at the regional and overall state level.

MVR Response: MVR is currently developing performance measures which include case
management as well as rehabilitation outcomes so that we can better assess the success and
effectiveness of the program. In addition, as was previously mentioned, the Rehabilitation
Services Administration is developing a series of eight standards and indicators by which
states can evaluate their own individual performance. States that fall below certain
performance levels will be required to implement corrective action procedures in conjunction
with their partners in the federal government. We hope to have our standards and indicators
in place during the next federal fiscal year which begins October 1, 1997.



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Online LibraryMontana. Legislature. Legislative Audit DivisionVocational Rehabilitation Program, Department of Public Health and Human Services : performance audit report (Volume 1997) → online text (page 7 of 7)