Offshoring in Six Human Services Programs: Offshoring Occurs in Most States, Primarily in Customer Service and Software Development

GAO-06-342 Published: Mar 28, 2006. Publicly Released: Mar 28, 2006.
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As states and the federal government have sought to streamline and improve administrative processes and take advantage of technological advances, both have outsourced certain functions to private firms. In some cases, these firms have used offshore resources to perform these functions. As a result, questions have been raised about the prevalence of offshoring in federal human services programs. In response to widespread congressional interest, we conducted work under the Comptroller General's authority to determine (1) the occurrence and nature of offshoring, (2) the benefits state agencies have achieved through offshoring and problems they have encountered, and (3) the actions, if any, states and the federal government have taken to limit offshoring and why. We examined four federally-funded state-administered programs--Child Support Enforcement, Food Stamp, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Unemployment Insurance--and two federally-administered programs that provide student financial aid--Pell Grant and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL). The Departments of Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor did not have comments on this report.

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