|Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development News Release|
|Thursday, April 7, 2005
|News Media Contact
DWD already taking steps to address LAB’s findings
Madison – Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary
Roberta Gassman today commented on the Legislative Audit Bureau’s (LAB) new
evaluation of the Wisconsin Works
“We take most seriously our responsibility for administering W-2 and the
Audit Bureau’s findings will help us strengthen this important program,” said
Gassman. “DWD appreciates the recommendations included in the report, which we
have already begun implementing along with the many other aggressive steps we
have been taking since 2003 to strengthen the operation and management of
W-2,” added Gassman.
DWD fully supports the goal of W-2 to assist low-income families in achieving economic self-sufficiency through employment. W-2, however, is not the sole vehicle for moving families out of poverty. With ultimate self-sufficiency as the goal, W-2 is a key step in a continuum of workforce development programs and services that must help families become self-sufficient. DWD’s goal is to support this continuum while best serving customers and protecting public resources.
DWD appreciates that LAB’s audit noted improvements in the oversight of W-2 by DWD during the past two years.
DWD has already taken the following actions which address the recommendations included in the report:
- DWD currently contracts with independent accounting firms to conduct on-site financial review audits of all Milwaukee W-2 agencies, as well as many of the larger W-2 providers in the balance of the state;
- DWD regional monitoring staff review individual W-2 agency expenditure reports on a monthly basis and meet with the management of W-2 agencies to reconcile all questionable billing or cost allocation practices;
- DWD central audit staff office review all single agency audits that all W-2 agencies are required to submit, and if discrepancies or questionable practices are found, DWD staff reconcile these findings with the W-2 agencies; and,
- DWD has required a former W-2 agency to hire a different audit firm to conduct its annual single agency audit in order to obtain an independent review of that W-2 agency’s financial status.
In future W-2 contracts, DWD will emphasize strengthened participant connections to work and career ladders; providing employment stabilization services; and, for those individuals with multiple and severe barriers, providing assistance in obtaining Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Income. Implementing the Trial Jobs Plus initiative, increasing the minimum wage and improving service integration will support the success of participants in the W-2 program.
“W-2 must be viewed as one program within the broader public workforce system that often supports individuals in making their initial connection to employment”, said Gassman. “Once unsubsidized employment is obtained, connections to other workforce programs such as those provided under the Workforce Investment Act and through the technical colleges will allow individuals to continue to move up career ladders and closer to the goal of achieving economic self-sufficiency,” added Gassman.
Content Contact: Rose Lynch