Public Values

Privatization of Texas State services a "slow-motion disaster"

Audit shows management problems continue five years later.

Texas State Auditor John Keelby The Houston Chronicle

September 4, 2008 — The drive to hire private contractors to take over duties performed by state employees in agencies under the oversight of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission — mandated by the Legislature five years ago — has been a slow-motion disaster. The commission was forced to terminate a major contract with Accenture last year after the attempt to privatize eligibility screening for social service programs caused chaos and erroneously denied services to thousands of qualified Texans.

In early 2006 the state auditor issued a report critical of another commission contractor, Convergys, which was selected in 2004 for a five-year, $85 million pact to provide human resources and payroll services for the 46,000 employees in the agencies the commission supervises. Auditors warned that supervision of the contract was lax, resulting in late and incorrect paychecks to workers and inadequate training and spending on technology.

A return visit by the auditors this year found that payroll and management problems at the state agencies continue. . .

Privatization vs. Public Values Frame
  Businesses know how to run things better / Public infrastructure needs public management

Links and sources
  Privatization hangover, Houston Chronicle, September 4, 2008

Posted: September 09, 2008

Categories:
  News
  Politics
  Health care
  Public services
  Front lines
  Voices of privatization

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