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SC to Combat Food Stamp Fraud with Technology Help from Feds
1/28/2014 1:04:08 PM

COLUMBIA, SC - The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced last week that its Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will partner with the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) and seven other States to develop a new comprehensive fraud prevention plan for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called food stamps. The pilot project utilizes technology-based consultation services with the help of Accenture, one of the world's leaders in this industry, to strengthen recipient integrity. "It is my pleasure to announce that your State has been selected to participate in this exciting initiative," said Kevin Concannon, USDA's Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, in his letter to DSS Director Lillian Koller. "Thank you for your willingness to partner with us and to serve as a positive change agent," he added.

"These new technology services, intended to prevent, identify and stop fraud, waste and abuse in the SNAP food stamp program, are at no additional cost to South Carolina taxpayers," said Karama Bailey, DSS Economic Services County Operations Division Director. "They are provided and paid for by FNS under a national contract."
The project is expected to span from January 2014 to September 2015 with these objectives:
. Assess current anti-fraud processes and capabilities.
. Identify promising practices and improvement opportunities.
. Develop a roadmap to achieve a holistic approach for reducing recipient fraud.
. Deliver Proof of Concept to demonstrate the feasibility of the anti-fraud approach.

Eva Gourdine, DSS Special Agent in Charge, Investigations and Criminal Records Unit of the Division of Investigation, is excited to be part of this new initiative. "With FNS's help, reviewing our current processes and applying state-of-the-art fraud prevention strategies, we can make our efforts much more robust to ensure access to the benefits for those truly in need." DSS Special Agent Kathella Jones, who also works in this Unit, coordinates the SNAP Trafficking activities for DSS with local, State and Federal law enforcement and will play a key role in this heightened fraud prevention.

"DSS is proud to partner and lead the nation in necessary reforms of the SNAP food stamp program," said DSS Director Koller.

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