Review of the National Recipient System

HRD-79-88: Published: May 29, 1979. Publicly Released: May 29, 1979.

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The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) proposed implementing a computerized National Recipient System (NRS) to help states reduce fraud, abuse, and error in the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. NRS will match applicant-recipient identification data supplied by the states with records from other sources to identify overpaid or ineligible program participants. Total estimated federal and state systems costs for the first 5 fiscal years of NRS implementation and operations are about $38 million. This will cover only the costs of implementation, technical assistance, and operation and maintenance. No estimates have been made of the follow-up investigative costs associated with using the system.

There is a need for further study before a decision is made to implement the system. The question is raised as to whether there is a need for a new system to perform functions which may be performed by existing systems. Before the system is implemented, an expanded initial evaluation, more user input, and a reconsideration of the NRS data searching technique are needed.

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