March 13, 2007
Accenture contract officially dead

I'd say "rest in peace", but that's an overbid.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission today said its ending by "mutual agreement" a trouble-plagued contract with a private company to determine eligibility for social services and oversee enrollment.

The contract with the Texas Access Alliance, led by Bermuda-based Accenture LLP, will end by Nov. 1, said Health and Human Services Commissioner Albert Hawkins.

The privatization effort has been beset by complaints of delays in enrollment and problems getting applications processed.

The state just recently had drastically scaled back its contract with Accenture to operate call centers that determine needy Texans eligibility for benefits, cutting its $899 million contract by $356 million and ending it two years early.

But in the end, the two sides couldn't agree on a price for the company to stay involved.

Given that they were essentially cut down to data entry clerks a few months ago, this is no surprise.

As the contract winds down, the state will assess whether management for various services would be best overseen by the state or private contractors, said commission spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman.

"Our goal hasn't changed," Hawkins said. "We want to make it easier for Texans to apply for services by modernizing technology and letting citizens choose how they want to submit an application whether thats in person or by phone, mail, fax or Internet."

One can only hope that the next time we'll learn a lesson from this and be less reckless in how we go about achieving those goals. HHSC Employee has more, plus a cornucopia of links, and the CPPP has a statement here (PDF).

UPDATE: Vince has more.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 13, 2007 to Budget ballyhoo