I received a copy in the mail of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission's official response to the Office of the Inspector General's report about the abject failure of the TIERS software system. It's uploaded here (PDF) for those who want to read it. I also have a response to this response from an actual HHSC employee, who sent me the following to go along with the HHSC statement:
Here's the thing that struck me:
On page 2 the first bullet - where it says SAVERR collects less data and there could be two separate households - that's just not true. TIERS can't prevent that, either. If a wife goes to Austin and applies, and the husband could go to another city with a different address and get certified separately - TIERS can't stop that either. However, if one tries to do two separate cases for THEMSELVES saverr wouldn't process that at all. SSN and DOB is what links up.
2nd bullet says that it takes far less time to complete recertifications which is also a lie. A worker can do a recert on SAVERR in 15 minutes or so. You can't even process a "No-Show" on TIERS in that length of time. I know of workers in this office I'm in that are on TIERS and they HATE IT. DESPISE IT. It takes FAR too long, far too many 'entries' to do a simple case action.
In a word, TIERS does not work. Instead of say, 15 screens in SAVERR, the same case might have 40 or so in TIERS.
TIERS can and does issue benefits wrong. There is no way to "check" the case before it processes in TIERS as you can in SAVERR.
UPDATE: Forgot to point to the CPPP Statement on Tiers/IE System Recommendations, which includes a copy of the recommendations from the House subcommittee (PDF) on what to do with TIERS and the call centers. Note that as the Observer reports, there was some unsubtle pressure exerted on the subcommittee by Governor Perry's office to tone down the criticism of HHSC Commissioner Albert Hawkins, whom Perry wants to reappoint. Why anyone would want to give another term to the man responsible for this disaster is frankly beyond me.Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 23, 2007 to Budget ballyhoo