Information Integrity:

Using Technology to Determine Eligibility to Work and Receive Benefits

T-AIMD-95-99: Published: Mar 7, 1995. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 1995.

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GAO discussed the Immigration and Naturalization Service's (INS) and the Social Security Administration's (SSA) efforts to improve the integrity of workers' eligibility data. GAO noted that: (1) INS and SSA are assessing options, such as tamper-resistant identification cards and a telephone verification system, to detect ineligible alien workers; (2) INS considers its pilot telephone verification system a success and is planning to expand its use; (3) the success of both options depends on the reliability and integrity of the agencies' databases and the inability of ineligible workers to use eligible workers' borrowed, stolen, or forged identification cards; (4) INS and SSA are exploring their ability to share their databases; (5) Connecticut has successfully automated its eligibility management system and interconnected its databases so that welfare applicants can quickly determine their eligibility for several programs in one office visit; (6) Connecticut has increased productivity and fraud detection and reduced errors and costs through its automation efforts; and (7) as agencies adopt new automated systems, they need to ensure that all system elements support their objectives, compare costs and benefits, and protect privacy.

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