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Navigator Award Finalists: Reshma Khatkhate and Team, Mississippi Department of Human Services

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Connecting state and local government leaders

Cutting down waste and serving the most needy citizens.

This is the 47th in a series of profiles on the 50 finalists for Route Fifty’s Navigator Awards program. The first 10 finalists were from the Government Allies and Cross-Sector Partners category. Finalists 11-20 were from the Agency and Department Leadership category. Finalists 21-30 were from the Executive Leadership category. Finalists 31-40 were from the Next Generation category. Finalists 41-50 are from the Data and IT Innovators category. Explore our complete list of 50 finalists.

It may seem like an insignificant problem—a relatively small number of people and households apply for and receive food stamps—now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—from more than one state.

This type of fraud, however, along with other points of waste within the system costs millions of dollars and prevents states from being able to serve their most underprivileged beneficiaries.  

Addressing this problem isn’t easy. Not only does it involve wrangling multiple sets of data, but it also requires states to work together to share information.That’s where Reshma Khatkhate and her team come in.

Khatkhate, a program manager at the Mississippi Department of Human Services, along with her team, are responsible for implementing the National Accuracy Clearinghouse. The NAC is a data-sharing initiative that crosses state lines to prevent fraud, waste and abuse within SNAP. The team is led by Mississippi’s DHS, but it also includes men and women from four consortium partner states—Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana.

The Clearinghouse uses data linking technology, along with identity analytics, to scan SNAP applicants and identify inconsistencies, and duplications within the system.     

The success of the program cannot be understated. Since it launched as a pilot program in 2015, the NAC has saved the five states involved more than $5.6 million annually and has identified an average of more than 2000 dual participants or ineligible applicants per month.

It’s because of this type of cross-state cooperation that Route Fifty is pleased to include Khatkhate and her colleagues as Navigator Award finalists.

Quinn Libson writes for Government Executive’s Route Fifty.

NEXT STORY: Navigator Award Finalists: Jim Sparks and Team, Indiana Geographic Information Office