Guardianship Abuse, Fraud and Exploitation Deterrence Program (GAFEDP)

Welcome to the Guardianship Compliance Program (GCP) 

The Guardianship Abuse, Fraud and Exploitation Deterrence Program is Expanding

The Guardianship Abuse, Fraud and Exploitation Deterrence Program is expanding statewide! The project has been renamed the as a result of SB 31 that was passed during the 86th Legislative Session. The Office of Court Administration is looking for new Guardianship Compliance Specialists to add to the team. To learn more about the work of the program and open positions, watch the video below.

July 22, 2019

Duration

00:04:44

Mission

The mission of the GAFEDP is to assist the courts in protecting our most vulnerable citizens and their assets. 

Guardianship Abuse, Fraud and Exploitation Deterrence Program  (GAFEDP)

Senate Bill 31 – Senator Zaffirini (HB 1286 – Representative Smithee).

Guardianship Compliance Bill

  • The Office of Court Administration (OCA) would establish and maintain a Guardianship Abuse, Fraud, and Exploitation Deterrence Program (GAFED) and be able to hire additional guardianship compliance specialists:
    • to review guardianship files in courts across Texas and identify reporting deficiencies by guardians;
    • to audit annual accountings and report their findings; and
    • to report to the courts any concerns of potential abuse, fraud or financial exploitation being committed against a ward under guardianship. 
  • OCA would also maintain an electronic database to monitor filings of inventories, guardian of the person reports, and annual accountings.
  • Courts are required to participate in the program if selected. Courts may apply to OCA to participate.
  •  The OCA director may notify the Judicial Conduct Commission of any concerns with judges who fail to act upon concerns raised by compliance specialists.

OCA is to file annual reports on January 1 of each year including number of courts involved, number of guardianships reviewed, number of cases out of statutory compliance, number of cases reported to courts concerning potential issues, and status of technology developed to monitor guardianship cases. 

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GUARDIANSHIP ABUSE FRAUD AND EXPLOITATION DETERRENCE PROGRAM (GAFEDP)

While the reforms implemented to date have improved the guardianship system in Texas, a key to the reforms’ success is ensuring compliance with the laws and reviewing guardianship activities to spot potential abuse, fraud, and exploitation. To provide a safety net for all vulnerable persons under the care of guardians, the Judicial Council proposes expanding the GCP statewide as proposed in OCA’s legislative appropriations request and SB 31 (86th R.S., Zaffirini et al). Only by pro-actively training court personnel and proposed guardians on the fiduciary duties of guardianship, as well as auditing reports and accountings to detect and deter fraud and exploitation, will Texas be adequately braced to ensure the safety and well -being of this vulnerable and growing population.

Monitoring and Audits 

The annual reports of the well-being and the financial annual accounts should be monitored, and a sample of the reports should be audited to ensure that the data submitted is complete and accurate. Monitoring and auditing would also create a deterrence against theft and fraud.

Development of a Statewide Online Guardianship Reporting Portal

The Texas Office of Court Administration has been developing an automated, electronic tool for filing required reports, annual accountings and other documents in guardianship cases. This system will provide a method to notify courts when required reports are delinquent and to review annual accounting reports for potentially fraudulent activities.

Training and Resources for Courts and Clerks

In addition to our online training of guardians on fiduciary record-maintenance and reporting duties, we recommend ongoing training and professional development for court and clerk staff on the collection and reporting of required guardianship data, as well as training on the fiduciary duties of guardians to inform the direction and guidance of proposed guardians.

GAFEDP

  1. Guardian Compliance Monitoring
    • Case review, active closures, compliance, well being concerns, registration, training and criminal history
  2. Audit Annual Accounting
    • Collect and review court documents, audit annual accountings, collect back up data (statements, invoices and receipts)
    • Type of Audits: New first-time accounting audit, routine-periodic, risk based, referral
    • Assigned county
    • Report to the court, collect data on compliance, abuse, fraud and exploitation concerns, restorations, APS reports, registration, criminal history and training
  3. Service
    • Training, Questions, Compliance Dockets