The Alaska Department of Revenue is using Quova Inc.'s IP geolocation data service to ensure that only valid Alaskan residents receive dividends from the 2008 Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend Division. Of the 630,000 applications the state expected this year, 71 percent, or 456,795 applications, were filed online.
The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend Division was formed in 1976 to invest the proceeds incurred by Alaska's oil and gas revenues. Earnings from the fund, now worth more than $40 billion, are reinvested and a portion of the earnings is allocated annually to Alaska residents. In 2007 each Alaska resident received a dividend of $1,654. The only qualification for submission is residence within the state of Alaska for one full calendar year before the application is submitted and the applicant must intend to remain in the state indefinitely.
Prior to 2003, all Permanent Fund Dividend applications had to be submitted by mail. Each applicant's residential status is verified before payments are made. Verifying in-state residency was a time-intensive and costly process because each letter had to be reviewed for postmark discrepancies, causing delays in payments to residents. In an effort to reduce costs and speed up the process, the state looked to move the application process online, but needed a way to verify the residency of an online applicant.
The IP geolocation data service is used to help the Alaska Department of Revenue compare the IP address location of where the applicant was logged onto the Internet when the application was submitted and a question specific to whether the applicant was in Alaska when submitting the form. Mismatches or inconsistencies are flagged for further investigation. Since implementing geolocation data services, the state has saved more than $1 million in fraudulent applications. Additionally, fraud investigations resulted in eight criminal indictments, states Daniel Boone, permanent fund division fraud investigations manager.
"The goal of the Permanent Fund Dividend Division is to assure that only eligible Alaskans receive the dividend," said Annette Smith, IT manager for the Division. "With Quova's IP geolocation data service, we have a streamlined way to protect the interests of all Alaskans and maintain the integrity of the dividend program."
About the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend Division
The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend Division was formed in 1976 to invest the proceeds incurred by Alaska's oil and gas revenues. Earnings from the fund, now worth more than $40 billion, are reinvested and a portion is allocated to Alaska residents annually by the state. In 2007, all valid Alaska residents received $1,654 from the Permanent Fund.