Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

The responsibilities outlined in this section ensure the security and accountability for sensitive documents, negotiable instruments and automation equipment used to obtain program benefits via the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system.

 

2100 Vendor

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

The vendor is responsible for accounting and shipping inactive Lone Star cards in a secure and timely manner via carrier service to the Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) offices.

Generally, the vendor packages contain Lone Star cards with 250 cards per tray.

The vendor mails Lone Star cards in separate shipping boxes, which are numbered. For instance, five boxes will be numbered 1 of 5, 2 of 5, and so on. The vendor includes a shipping receipt in one of the boxes.

 

2200 State Office

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

The EBT Program Operations Section, Lone Star Business Services, is responsible for:

  • overseeing the compliance of security and accountability operations;
  • ensuring security and accountability of the receipt, storage and disbursement of Lone Star cards, including the destruction of defective Lone Star cards;
  • ensuring the vendor is in compliance with the delivery of inactive Lone Star cards to local offices; and
  • providing technical assistance to Field Operations (FO) and the regions.

The Inspector General (IG) is responsible for investigating any suspected fraudulent activities.

FO is responsible for:

  • approving the regional security procedures and regional corrective actions to address audit findings and recommendations; and
  • monitoring the compliance of security and accountability operations.

 

2300 HHS Regional Director

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

The HHS regional director (RD) ensures:

  • the region is on target for reaching the goal of zero audit findings;
  • audit findings are addressed and cleared (refer to Section 8000, Performance and Conduct Management);
  • regional staff are aware of the policy and procedures in this handbook, as well regional security procedures;
  • the region is in compliance with this handbook;
  • the EBT regional security officer or designee approves the order forms for supplies of Lone Star cards, including unsecured materials (card sleeves, Second Cardholder form, etc.), for local offices;
  • The local office receives and stores the inactive Lone Star cards in a secure room with a locked safe, vault, file cabinet or other secure storage, and only staff designated on the regional security plan have access to the supply.
  • The copy of the Request for Lone Star Materials order form received from local offices is reconciled with the shipping receipt in the shipment from the vendor;
  • Form H1174, Inventory of EBT Cards/PIN Packets, is completed monthly for each local office and kept on file;
  • any missing or stolen Lone Star cards are reported in a timely manner (see Section 4500, Missing or Stolen Lone Star Cards);
  • an investigation is initiated for any suspected fraudulent activity; and
  • activities required by audit corrective action plans are completed.

The RD may delegate all or part of these duties to the EBT regional coordinator or designee.

 

2400 EBT Regional Coordinator

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

The RD appoints an EBT regional coordinator to ensure that local/benefit offices are in compliance with state office guidelines on security and accountability operations.

The EBT regional coordinator ensures:

  • regional security procedures are current based on state office guidance;
  • EBT technical assistance and consultation is provided to the local/benefit office EBT site coordinator;
  • local/benefit offices are in compliance with the regional security procedures;
  • guidelines about local/benefit office security procedures, including regional approval of those procedures, are provided to EBT site coordinators;
  • users are restricted to one EBT account, and each account is limited to one user group;
  • local/benefit office security procedures are approved, and any or all exceptions are documented;
  • regional security and accountability operations are monitored;
  • on-site security reviews are conducted in each local/benefit office at least once every three years, with the due date being no longer than the last workday of the month in the 36th month (this may be done by a designee);
  • regional responses to audit findings are submitted in a timely manner;
  • all local/benefit office requests for EBT system permissions, additions and deletions are reviewed monthly;
  • a monthly EBT system user review is conducted to ensure users are assigned an appropriate level of access, which includes monitoring the resets of EBT permissions and modifying EBT users' level of access as deemed necessary;
  • each EBT site coordinator does an assessment of the local/benefit office mail operations to ensure appropriate security measures are taken to safeguard Lone Star cards from fraud and abuse;
  • local/benefit office Request for Lone Star Materials order forms for secured and unsecured EBT materials are approved unless the responsibility is delegated to someone else as designated by the RD;
  • responsible staff designations are approved and processed for the ordering, receiving, accounting, storing and distributing of bulk and daily supplies of secured EBT materials;
  • any missing or stolen Lone Star cards, and/or EBT automation equipment are reported;
  • the RD is notified of any suspected fraudulent activity;
  • the RD is notified of any inconsistencies in separation of duties; and
  • the vendor is notified of discrepancies in supplies of secured EBT materials received by the local/benefit office.

 

2500 Assistant Regional Director

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

The assistant regional director ensures:

  • regional staff are aware of the policy and procedures in this handbook, as well as regional security procedures;
  • the region is in compliance with this handbook;
  • program security and accountability operations are monitored; and
  • there is maximum feasible separation of duties.

The RD may delegate certain responsibilities to the assistant regional director.

 

2600 Local/Benefit Office Staff

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

 

2610 HHS Supervisor

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

The HHS supervisor ensures:

  • unit staff at all locations are aware of the policy and procedures in this handbook, as well as regional security procedures;
  • the unit is in compliance with this handbook;
  • program security and accountability operations are monitored;
  • unit staff at all locations are in compliance with Section B-200, Issuing Benefits; Section B-300, Account Maintenance; and Section B-400, Special Households, of the Texas Works Handbook;
  • the site coordinator is immediately notified when an employee with EBT security access needs to be delete, and the deletion is accomplished as soon as possible but no later than five workdays;
  • the site coordinator is immediately notified when an employee with EBT automation permissions changes any Texas Integrated Eligibility Redesign System (TIERS) permission; and
  • EBT documents are monitored during office visits to ensure compliance with security and accountability.

The regional director or program manager may delegate certain responsibilities to the unit supervisor at the local/benefit office where the supervisor is housed.

 

2620 Local/Benefit Office EBT Site Coordinator

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

The EBT site coordinator:

  • ensures local/benefit office staff are aware and in compliance with the policy and procedures outlined in this handbook, the regional security plan and the Texas Works Handbook;
  • ensures that separation of duties for performing critical functions in EBT operations are enforced;
  • ensures that the local/benefit office security procedures are current and correct, including all security procedures that are unique to that office;
  • submits a Request for Lone Star Materials order form to the RD's designee or EBT regional coordinator to request supplies of inactive Lone Star cards, and other EBT materials;
  • ensures that inactive Lone Star cards received from the vendor are accounted for by conducting a physical count within five workdays of receipt;
  • completes and submits by fax, Form H1111, Card Order Discrepancy Verification, to the EBT regional coordinator or RD's designee if an inactive Lone Star card listed on the order form is not in the shipment received.
  • stores the office supply of inactive Lone Star cards in a secure room in a locked safe, vault, file cabinet or storage room, unless prohibited by limited office space as approved by the EBT regional coordinator;
  • maintains an inventory of inactive Lone Star cards;
  • ensures inactive Lone Star cards are issued in numerical order;
  • completes Form H1177, Transmittal and Receipt for Controlled EBT Documents, or an approved regional document when applicable;
  • ensures separate logs are maintained as stated in Section 4410, Logs (a regionally approved log may be used to document voided/returned Lone Star cards/PIN packets);
  • ensures Form H1173, EBT Card Issuance and PIN Self-Selection/Issuance Log, is kept and completed correctly;
  • ensures all voided/returned Lone Star cards are entered on Form H1173 or a regionally approved log;
  • completes Form H1174, Inventory of EBT Cards, by the 10th calendar day of every month, including a physical count, to account for receipt and usage of Lone Star cards, and sends a copy to the RD or designee;
  • ensures all voided/returned Lone Star cards have their status changed immediately on the EBT system to a status other than registered;
  • reconciles daily the EBT report (EBTDS303-1) with Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request; Form H1173; Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action; and other documents as needed, including the (TIERS) inquiry, and reconciles EBT reports for weekends and holidays on the next workday;
  • ensures benefits issued through the EBT system are entered into TIERS within required time frames;
  • ensures security measures for mail operations of mailed Lone Star cards;
  • ensures keys to safes, vaults, file cabinets or storage rooms are kept in a secure location; and
  • submits the electronic EBT System Access Request form found at https://oss.txhhsc.txnet.state.tx.us/sites/eo/support/lsbs/_layouts/15/start.aspx#/SitePages/LSBS%20Forms.aspx within 10 workdays to the EBT regional coordinator or designee to add or delete EBT permission for EBT staff in the local/benefit office, including any change to the level of access. Terminated employees are reported immediately to the EBT regional coordinator.

The EBT site coordinator may delegate certain duties to other EBT staff in the local/benefit office if approved by the EBT regional coordinator. However, the EBT site coordinator is still responsible for the security and accountability of program benefits in the local/benefit office.

 

2630 HHS Advisor/Disposition Worker

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

The HHS advisor/disposition worker must comply with:

  • EBT policy and procedures listed in Section B-200, Issuing Benefits; Section B-300, Account Maintenance; and Section B-400, Special Households, of the Texas Works Handbook.
  • regional security procedures; and
  • this handbook.

 

2640 EBT Clerk

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

The EBT clerk:

  • maintains awareness of the policy and procedures in this handbook, as well as regional security procedures;
  • complies with this handbook;
  • complies with regional and local/benefit office security procedures;
  • signs Form H1177, Transmittal and Receipt for Controlled EBT Documents, or a regionally approved log to acknowledge receipt of Lone Star cards;
  • issues Lone Star cards in numerical order;
  • accurately enters information on Form H1173, EBT Card Issuance and PIN Self-Selection/Issuance Log, to record issuance of Lone Star cards;
  • ensures confidentiality for a cardholder who self-selects a PIN in the local/benefit office;
  • reviews Form H1172, EBT Card, PIN and Data Entry Request, and Form H1175, Authorization for Administrative Terminal Application Action, for accuracy and completeness before issuing a Lone Star card;
  • ensures Form H1172 is signed and dated within three workdays of the request date (the request date is day zero);
  • signs off the EBT system and secures the daily supply of Lone Star cards when leaving the work area and at the end of each workday;
  • immediately notifies the EBT site coordinator of missing Lone Star cards or other discrepancies;
  • logs and changes the status of returned Lone Star cards on the EBT system to a status other than registered in a timely manner; and
  • transfers daily supply of cards to other approved EBT issuance staff when on break, lunch, leave, or any time other EBT staff will be issuing from the daily supply.

Note: EBT clerks cannot issue a Lone Star card to themselves or a direct relative (spouse, child, parent or sibling) without prior approval from the EBT regional coordinator.

 

2650 Program Managers

Revision 17-1; Effective May 5, 2017

 

The HHS program manager (PM) ensures:

  • timely compliance with EBT audit findings and corrective action plans;
  • timely submission of Form H1174, Inventory of EBT Cards for their offices;
  • staff are aware of the policy and procedures in this handbook, and the Texas Works Handbook, as well as regional security procedures; and
  • program security and accountability operations are monitored.