Audit: Delays possible in accessing safety net programs

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A new audit says Oregonians may face delays in accessing safety net programs if the state doesn’t have enough workers in place to manage the flood of new data in a project intended to reduce red tape.

A Secretary of State audit released Wednesday examined Oregon’s effort to simplify the application process for people seeking to access multiple safety net programs.

For example, when the project finished, an Oregonian can put in a single application for food assistance, medical assistance and childcare. Now, three separate applications are needed.

But state auditors warned that staff time needed to manually clean up inaccurate data in the new system could lead to long wait times for Oregonians seeking services if it’s not planned for and promptly completed.

The Statesman Journal reports the project is being overseen by the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Human Services.