Route Fifty: State Turns to Data Tools to Root Out Social Services Fraud

Route Fifty: State Turns to Data Tools to Root Out Social Services Fraud. “The Texas Health and Human Services Department’s inspector general is turning to data modeling and visualization tools to investigate Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cases with an increased risk of fraud. Using funds from the SNAP Fraud Framework Implementation Grant, the Texas Office of Inspector General’s Benefits Program Integrity (BPI) division recently developed a data visualization dashboard that will help unit managers oversee high-volume investigative caseloads.”

Route Fifty: New Online Hub to Help Cities Apply for Federal Infrastructure Funding

Route Fifty: New Online Hub to Help Cities Apply for Federal Infrastructure Funding. “The Local Infrastructure Hub is bringing together public sector groups and nonprofits to help local leaders navigate the complicated Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act application process in order to win grants. Experts will provide free coaching, data analysis and support, among other things, in developing the applications.”

State of Maine: Maine DHHS Launches Online Resource for Families and Pilots New Tool for Mandated Reporters During Child Abuse Prevention Month

State of Maine: Maine DHHS Launches Online Resource for Families and Pilots New Tool for Mandated Reporters During Child Abuse Prevention Month. “Ensuring that parents and caregivers have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need helps promote the social and emotional well-being of children and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities…. To that end, the DHHS Office of Child and Family Services partnered with other Department Offices and state agencies to develop and launch this month Access Maine, an online guide of programs and resources tailored for families to connect them to services and resources. Access Maine includes information about meeting basic needs, such as nutrition and child care, as well as domestic violence support, mental health and substance use resources, and other programs, complementing Maine’s 211 directory.”

New York Times: Trump Officials Awarded $700 Million Pandemic Loan Despite Objections

New York Times: Trump Officials Awarded $700 Million Pandemic Loan Despite Objections. “The report, released by the Democratic staff of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, describes the role of corporate lobbyists during the early months of the pandemic in helping to secure government funds as trillions of dollars of relief money were being pumped into the economy. It also suggests that senior officials such as Steven Mnuchin, the former Treasury secretary, and Mark T. Esper, the former defense secretary, intervened to ensure that the trucking company, Yellow Corporation, received special treatment despite concerns about its eligibility to receive relief funds.”

Spotted via Reddit: The Ukraine Support Tracker

Spotted via Reddit: the Ukraine Support Tracker. From the front page: “The Ukraine Support Tracker (Beta) lists and quantifies military, financial and humanitarian aid transferred by governments to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion on February 24, 2022. We focus on support by 31 Western governments, specifically by the G7 and European Union member countries. The database is intended to support a facts-based discussion about support to Ukraine. Because we focus on government to government transfers into Ukraine, we do not include private donations or transfers by international organizations in this version of the database.”

The Mainichi: Japanese town mistakenly pays $366K in COVID subsidies to single household

The Mainichi: Japanese town mistakenly pays $366K in COVID subsidies to single household. “The municipal government arranged at a bank on April 3 to transfer 100,000 yen each to the accounts of 463 households that had applied for the subsidy by the end of March. A town employee later submitted a written request to the bank to transfer the 46.3 million yen. However, they mistakenly made the top name on the recipient list the representative of the entire group, causing the massive overpayment to that person.”

Route Fifty: ‘There’s a Large Amount of Fraud Out There,’ Says Special IG for Pandemic Recovery

Route Fifty: ‘There’s a Large Amount of Fraud Out There,’ Says Special IG for Pandemic Recovery. “After battles over his office’s jurisdiction and staffing and funding challenges, the special inspector general for pandemic recovery is hitting his stride. ‘I think we’re doing great things. I think we’re doing things that other law enforcement agencies aren’t doing,’ said Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery Brian Miller. ‘We have built-up the expertise in these programs to the point where we can advise federal prosecutors.’”

Covid.gov: New website offers a single stop for COVID info, tests and treatment (NPR)

Putting this here instead of CoronaBuzz because it’s important. NPR: Covid.gov: New website offers a single stop for COVID info, tests and treatment. “According to the White House, there are now more than 2,000 test-to-treat locations around the country where people can get tested for COVID-19 and, if a prescriber says they need it, immediately get antiviral pills. COVID.gov has a new locator tool, making it easier to find these services quickly.” The site also provides information on vaccines, local health risk, and more.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: Arkansas Health Department to continue free covid testing for uninsured even without federal help

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: Arkansas Health Department to continue free covid testing for uninsured even without federal help. “Although a federal program is no longer paying for it, the Arkansas Department of Health will continue to provide free coronavirus testing for the uninsured at its local health units around the state, a spokeswoman said. Over the past two years, the Health Department has received $13.4 million from the federal Covid-19 Uninsured Program for providing the tests — more than any other health care provider in the state, according to data from a federal website.”

NPR: Millions of children will miss healthy school meals when pandemic relief expires

NPR: Millions of children will miss healthy school meals when pandemic relief expires. “When schools pivoted to virtual learning early in the pandemic, the National School Lunch Program was thrown into chaos. Millions of children rely on school meals to keep hunger at bay, so school nutrition directors scrambled to adopt new, creative ways to distribute food to families. Some of these changes were improvements on the status quo, they say. And as part of pandemic relief legislation, the federal Food and Nutrition services agency waived the requirement that schools serve meals in a group setting, increased school-year reimbursement rates to summer levels for school food programs and granted more flexibility in how food is prepared and packaged.”