The 2009-10 budget includes several IHSS anti-fraud activities that are estimated to save about $162 million for the General Fund. One component of this anti-fraud initiative is the fingerprinting of IHSS recipients beginning in April 2010. The Department of Social Services recently submitted a planning document to the federal government for modification of an existing technology system to allow for the collection of IHSS recipient fingerprints. This document estimates that costs for the system changes would be about $42 million ($22 million General Fund) over eight years.
The administration is currently in the process of implementing the recipient fingerprint requirement through a pilot project in five counties. The pilot project is focused on process issues related to such things as how long it takes to obtain a fingerprint, which device is best for fingerprinting, and how to explain the requirement to recipients. We recommend statutorily delaying the implementation of the requirement to fingerprint IHSS recipients until a second pilot project (or other cost beneft analysis) is completed. This second pilot would focus on whether the savings from fingerprinting recipients is expected to outweigh the cost of implementing this requirement. If it is found that fingerprinting recipients would result in net savings for the state, we would recommend statewide implementation at that time. Adopting this recommendation results in General Fund savings of up to $4 million in 2009-10 and $2 million in 2010-11.