Interim DSS Director: Backlog Will Not Happen Again

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Before the federal deadline was met, Guilford County Department of Social Services Director Robert Williams, resigned.

READ:Guilford Co. Meets Food Stamp Deadline, Director Resigns

Friday, Williams told WFMY News 2 he was confident the county would tackle the 3,100 backlogged food stamp applications by the March 31st deadline. He resigned before the job was done.

DSS Board Chair Ursula Robinson is serving as the interim director.

"I'm very satisfied that we met the deadline, I'm not satisfied with how we got there in the first place so obviously we are working really hard to figure out how did we get here and how do we make sure we do not run into this type of situation again," explained Ursula Robinson, Interim Director, Guilford County DSS.

During a news conference on Friday, Williams said the department would change the way it processes food stamps. Robinson says some of those changes have already happened.

"I think the other immediate change that will happen that actually started happening today, is that when you have an application, it will be entered into both systems at the same time and that will help with accountability," explained Robinson.

This backlog was not a computer issue but was caused by internal issues.Williams said there was a lack of accountability with workers. He admitted he did not know what type of workload the people processing these applications were capable of.

The county can not say much about why because Williams' resignation is a personnel issue. The DSS board accepted his resignation Monday morning.

Williams, who was paid $140,000 annually as director, is not getting severance.

Robinson says despite all that has happened over the past couple of days, she thinks the department is in good shape.

"I really think that we are in a good place if you can understand where I am coming from, considering the fact that we met the deadline, and we are working to make sure something like this doesn't happen again."

Robinson's role is temporary. The board wants to bring in another interim-director who can lead the agency until they name a permanent director.


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