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DCFS Antifraud GIS System Draws Attention of Texas Inspector General

Texas Officials Visit Louisiana to View Fraud-Detection Mapping Technology in Action

BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) today hosted Texas Inspector General Douglas Wilson and other Texas officials, who traveled to Louisiana to see first-hand the agency's award-winning antifraud Geographic Information System (GIS) technology used to detect fraudulent activity in the state's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

"Our agency is pleased to share with Inspector General Wilson our use of this technology, which has modernized our fraud and recovery efforts by targeting any misuse of public funds," said DCFS Secretary Ruth Johnson. "Our GIS system has become a valuable tool in fighting fraud and abuse, and we know that this type of technology could be beneficial to Texas in their endeavors to do the same. By using real-time data with our GIS system, we are able to determine patterns of use and more easily determine if potential fraud or abuse has occurred. By using this technology, we have been able to take what was a manual process that could take weeks and months to accumulate and review to one that takes minutes instead."

According to Johnson, DCFS recovered approximately $3 million last year with the use of the fraud detection software. The software allows DCFS to track purchases made by SNAP recipients and displays them on a geographically accurate map. The software analyzes the information and provides customized reports that identify patterns in use of the benefits and trends that signal potential fraud.

DCFS' GIS technology not only tracks activity of SNAP recipients but also collects data on retailers that accept SNAP benefits to detect possible trafficking, the illegal sale of SNAP benefits for cash.

Louisiana was the first state in the nation to use GIS technology to detect fraud by helping identify trends and patterns in the SNAP Program. For example, purchases made with SNAP benefits by individuals can be mapped to determine if patterns in location change or if individuals travel an unusual distance to purchase large amounts from certain stores.

DCFS received DM Review's Innovative Solution Award in the Business Intelligence/Analytics category in 2008 for its use of the technology. The award recognizes groundbreaking software solutions that provide proven business value.

SNAP is administered in Louisiana by DCFS and overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Read more about recipients' rights.

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