ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The state ombudsman’s investigation into Alaska’s Division of Public Assistance has found that the agency is swamped with applications and has failed to meet state and federal mandates for processing them in a timely manner.

Alaska Public Media reports that the investigation results released on Monday found several major problems causing aggravation for Alaska residents.

The report says members of the public have had great difficulty getting responses to questions and that the division’s processing for long-term care is “inefficient and ineffective.”

One of the most crucial recommendations in state Ombudsman Kate Burkhart’s report is to add personnel to deal with the communication problems and a backlog roughly 20,000 applications deep.

Division Director Monica Windom said eliminating the backlog is unlikely without adding dozens of new positions.

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