Automated Welfare Systems:

Historical Costs and Projections

AIMD-94-52FS: Published: Feb 25, 1994. Publicly Released: Mar 15, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the extent that states are developing and implementing automated information systems for federally supported welfare programs, focusing on the numbers, types, status, and costs of such automated systems.

GAO found that: (1) 52 of 54 U.S. states and territories operate multiple automated systems to provide welfare program support, although some states plan to combine their systems into a single, integrated Family Assistance Management Information System; (2) federal agencies provided over $6.8 billion between fiscal years 1984 and 1992 to support states' planning, design, development, installation, and operation of automated welfare systems; (3) states will require more federal assistance for larger, more sophisticated systems needed to handle rising welfare program caseloads and increased program complexity; (4) federal costs to support the development and operation of state welfare systems could increase, since all states plan to upgrade, replace, or develop at least one automated system; (5) national health care and welfare reform could contribute to increasing automated system costs; (6) estimated development and operating costs for states' automated systems could total $10.7 billion between 1993 and 1999; and (7) there is no legislatively mandated ceiling to limit federal assistance for states' development and operation of automated welfare systems.

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