Delay on Missouri computer system menaces women, children

Delay on Missouri computer system menaces women, children

By Wilson Dizard III
GCN Staff

NOV. 2'The Missouri Public Safety Department's failure to develop a computer system to track funds for domestic violence shelters has perpetuated the problem of battered women and their children being turned away from shelters, a state official has said.

Missouri Auditor Claire McCaskill reported in September that mismanagement of state tax receipts intended for domestic violence shelters resulted in more than 5,000 women and children being turned away from shelters in 1998. Millions of dollars in additional funding could have been available to help the victims, had the state properly tracked and disbursed money intended to fund the shelters, McCaskill said.

McCaskill's office suggested that the Public Safety Department, as a state office already administering grants to domestic violence shelters, would be an appropriate agency to set up a 'centralized registration and reporting system [to] . . . determine which shelters are eligible for funding, and [to] receive and compile the required financial and statistical reports.'

But the department 'isn't doing it yet and there is no office in Missouri that is doing it,' said DPS spokeswoman Tammi Holliday. No action is likely on the matter until the state Legislature reconvenes in January, Holliday said.

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