Hutchinson reports on DHS contracting overhaul; moves Duncan Baird to DFA head up state budget | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Hutchinson reports on DHS contracting overhaul; moves Duncan Baird to DFA head up state budget

Posted By on Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 2:07 PM

click to enlarge Hutchinson talks about DHS contract problems, his upcoming trip to France and Germany, with press at the Governor's Mansion.
  • Hutchinson talks about DHS contract problems, his upcoming trip to France and Germany, with press at the Governor's Mansion.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, at what he called a "pen and pad" meeting with the press at the Governor's Mansion, described what actions his office is taking to create "systemic changes" in the way the state Department of Human Services contracts with vendors, a problem that he said had been "festering." Specifically, he named contracts with C.H. Mack, CoCentrix, a vendor he declined to identify — it's IBM — and the vendor for the Enrollment and Eligibility Framework, which is used to determine eligibility for Medicaid, food stamp and other services. He released a  dated today on contract procurement oversight that he sent to the General Assembly.

C.H. Mack contracted with DHS to create a "universal assessment tool" to assess the needs of people served by the aging and adult, disability and behavioral health divisions of DHS. Mack failed to deliver and the state is seeking to recover $4.8 million, possibly through litigation. DHS contracted with CoCentrix after terminating Mack, DHS spokesman Amy Webb said.

Hutchinson said DHS, which has created an office of project management, is seeking to decrease CoCentrix's projected licensure costs "and improve performance of the product." I've asked Webb what the performance issues are.

In the letter to legislators, Hutchinson said an outside consultant, the Gartner Group, has been hired to "determine the technical feasibility of contract performance and to provide a second opinion on the future direction of the EEF review." The cost of the implementation of the system doubled to $200 million, DHS Director John Selig told the legislature's Task Force on Healthcare Reform a couple of weeks ago. Arkansas's share of that sum is about $25 million. Selig said the increase came from changes in specifications by the federal government.

DHS has also withheld $1.23 million in payments to IBM, which Webb said created the software used in the Enrollment and Eligibility Framework. Here's the announcement of that contract, entered into in 2013. She said she did not know the details on why the payments are being withheld. 

Hutchinson also announced that his budget director Duncan Baird will be the new budget director of the Department of Finance and Administration. He replaces Brandon Sharp, who was fired in May. Elizabeth Smith, Hutchinson's chief legal counsel, will become Medicaid inspector general.

Hutchinson leaves Saturday for Paris, France, and Dusseldorf, Germany, to "market" Arkansas's steel and "aerodefense' industries and agriculture. He'll attend the Air Show in Paris and a trade show in Germany, meeting with heads of companies that do business in Arkansas (12 French companies, 20 German) and also "senior leaders" of other industries. "It's a great opportunity to introduce myself as governor ... and expand our existing companies and trying to recruit and showcase Arkansas to other prospects," he said.

Tags: , , , , ,


Favorite

Comments (12)

Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Kaleidoscope Film Festival continues

    And much more.
    • Aug 16, 2018
  • A miscellany of art: Aug. 10-16

    We don't get to post all the jpegs of artwork on exhibit that come into the office, but they have more allure and tell you more about the work than what I can write about them. Hence this slideshow of work from shows opening tonight (Aug. 10) for 2nd Friday Art Night, 5-8 p.m. (see the To Do list for more information), and other openings and shows this weekend and in the days ahead.
    • Aug 10, 2018
  • Majority: Red-light 30 Crossing

    But ARDOT's project to widen the interstate is preordained, some believe.
    • Aug 9, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • LR Police Chief Buckner in running for Charleston, S.C. job

    KATV reports that Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner is one of five finalists for the job of police chief in Charleston, S.C., and will be visit Charleston next week as part of the process.
    • Feb 2, 2018
  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation