You couldn't come up with a better illustration of the abject failure that privatization of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (THHSC) has been than this story.
State welfare workers who were destined for pink slips to make way for privatized eligibility screeners are getting $1,800 retention bonuses instead, Health and Human Services Commissioner Albert Hawkins announced Thursday.
With the move to privately run eligibility screening off to a troubled start, the commission has scrapped any plans to lay off state employees during the next 12 months, he said, and will lay off no more than 900 employees during the transition to private call centers.
The state had planned to lay off 1,900 employees by the time the transition was complete, but will now keep 1,000 of those state employees on permanently.
All 4,800 eligibility workers currently employed, assuming they are in good standing, and 900 temporary workers will be eligible for a $900 retention bonus this summer and another $900 bonus six months later, commission spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman said.
State leaders on the Legislative Budget Board, meanwhile, have promised the commission an extra $85.9 million to keep the state workers, she said.
Maybe - maybe - if there had been a small pilot program for this sucker for a year or so, in which all aspects of the system could be tested, all documentation for procedures could be written and training for them produced, and the first wave of Accenture employees could get up to speed, then we could have a path to real success for this program. But we got this instead. And the people who really need these services are the ones paying for the screwup.Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 05, 2006 to Budget ballyhoo | TrackBack