NCGA Program Evaluation Committee – Housing and NC FAST

The Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Committee met on Monday, June 8, 2020.

North Carolina Housing Finance Agency

The Program Evaluation Division was charged to examine the efficiency and effectiveness of the NC Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA).

Recommendations

The NCGA should direct NCHFA to study modifications including:

  • Eliminate or more broadly define the shopping category
  • Eliminate the distinction between primary and secondary amenities
  • Create a threshold score that includes amenities and measure of opportunity

The NCGA should direct NCHFA to:

  • Examine modifications to 4 community partner programs to ensure access and activity throughout NC
  • Develop a strategic plan and performance management system
  • Clarify that NCHFA is not exempt from the Sate Budget Act, and direct NCHFA’s board to limit contributions to nonprofit entities
  • Adjust the strategy to preserve the affordability of Low Income Housing Tax Credit units

The bill draft language for these recommendations can be found here.

The NCMS is following this legislation due to it’s potential impact to improving housing quality. This directly relates to to Healthy NC 2030 goals.

NC FAST

The Program Evaluation Division was charged to examine the child welfare case management functionality of NC FAST P4. An evaluation was completed to examine P4 usability and additional child welfare issues.

Findings

  • The report found that P4 is functional and meets most of the State’s goals with the exception of management reporting and data entry.
  • P4 usability is unacceptably low, making it difficult for workers to complete tasks.
  • Lack of state budget has delayed improvements in functionality. Indecision about P4 will increase overall project costs and may subject the State to federal penalties.
  • Lack of unified child welfare practice model and resource disparities among counties hinder the State’s ability to implement the case management system.
  • Lack of state policy leadership and insufficient training have slowed development and implementation.
  • NC FAST’s oversight structure contributed to P4 development and implementation challenges.

Recommendations

The NCGA should direct DHHS to

  • Prioritize usability in future vendor contracts
  • Require a free proof of concept for any additional software
  • Collaborate with a qualified organization to develop a system of standard child welfare processes
  • Require future contractors to conduct culture change readiness training

NC DHHS may request $15 million for the personnel to manage this system.

The report noted that if the NCGA chooses to fund NC FAST in Fiscal Year 2020-21, it should direct the Department of Information Technology to embed staff within the NC FAST team to provide additional oversight.

The bill draft language for these recommendations can be found here.

The NCMS is following this legislation due to it’s potential impact to improve child well being. This directly relates to to Healthy NC 2030 goals.

 
 

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