APF Dividend Division Working to Recover $7 Million in Improperly Paid Funds
October 18, 2011
Due to a processing error, approximately 5,500 dividends were improperly paid. This also affects a portion of Alaskans who did not receive payments because these garnishments were not collected. While an accurate figure is not yet available, the maximum amount of garnishments would be just under $7 million. The final total is likely to be less than this amount.
The error, discovered on October 10th, does not affect the majority of dividends paid out to Alaskans, including child support payments.
The division announced it is making every effort to recover dividends that were improperly paid to applicants instead of creditors.
Approximately 3,600 direct deposit returns have already been requested by the division, and stop payments have been issued for approximately 1,900 paper checks that were mailed. The processing error occurred when division employees failed to link batches of electronic levies to applicant records. The batches were contained in a new software system known as “eGarns,” which was used for the first time this year.
“We deeply regret the error and are working to recover the funds that were improperly distributed,” Director Debbie Bitney said. “Alaskans’ faith in our process is of the utmost importance to me, and we have implemented changes to ensure this situation does not happen again.”
Safeguards have now been programmed into eGarns that will automate processes, alerting division employees of potential anomalies.
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