HD10 - Final Report of the ADAPT Task Force: Recommendations for the Completion of the Application Benefit Delivery Automation Project (ADAPT)

Executive Summary:
The Application Benefit Delivery Automation Project (ADAPT) is an umbrella project which included enhancements to the Virginia Client Information System (VACIS), implementation of the Multiple Systems Inquiry (MSI) and the Multiple Systems Update (MSU), a long-term plan for social service automation, and development of the automated system for eligibility determination, benefit calculation, and case management for three major social services programs -- Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC, Food Stamps, and Medicaid. The Department of Social Services (DSS) initiated the project to help local social services agencies process client applications for benefit programs more efficiently and effectively.

As a part of the automation effort, local social services agencies have begun, and some have completed, a major re-engineering of the benefits application process. The new process has included the adoption of a "one client-one worker" approach to application processing. This approach is highly dependent on an automated system such as ADAPT. With proper support in the form of automation, the new processes used in local agencies promise improved service to clients and more efficient, effective processing of applications for benefit programs.

The ADAPT project began in 1991, and was to have been completed by March 1993. In November 1992, the project was expanded to include the development of a rule-based system for eligibility determination and benefit calculation. By December of 1995, only the Food Stamps portion of the system had been deployed in 10 pilot agencies. Because of questions raised about the costs and viability of the system, the Secretary of Health and Human Resources directed the Commissioner of Social Services to freeze development and implementation of the ADAPT system.

In response to the suspension of the ADAPT project, the 1996 General Assembly established an ADAPT Task Force to develop a viable, cost effective strategy for completing an automated eligibility determination and case management system for local social services agencies. The Task Force defined its mission as: "to review and evaluate all relevant data and recommend the best approach to complete the development of an automated rule-based eligibility/case management system for Food Stamps, AFDC and Medicaid."

Since its first meeting on June 14, 1996, the ADAPT Task Force has met 17 times; reviewed prior reports and evaluations of the ADAPT project; directed additional research by DSS, the Department of Information Technology (DIT), and the consulting firm of Booz-Allen and Hamilton; and evaluated alternative strategies for completion of the ADAPT project. This report completes the work of the Task Force as directed by the 1996 Appropriation Act, and recommends a specific course of action for completion of the ADAPT system. In addition, the report makes several recommendations for improvements in the leadership and management of the ADAPT project.