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: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

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

  • UAMS meets with employees to talk budget problems

    At a closed meeting with employees today, the leadership at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences sought to explain why the institution had to lay off 258 people and end 600 positions.
    • Jan 18, 2018
  • 2018 Small Prints: Big show at ASU

    The "2018 Delta National Small Prints Exhibition," a juried show of contemporary small printmaking by artists from across the country, opens today with 60 works in four galleries at Arkansas State University's Bradbury Art Museum with a 5 p.m. reception.
    • Jan 18, 2018
  • Kontiki introduces African food to Central Arkansas

    Rice akara (banana, sugar and rice flour with spicy red pepper sauce). Fried plantains. Skewers of beef and peanut butter. Cassava-based soup with beef, smoked turkey, tripe and smoked fish. Peanut-based soup with steamed basmati rice, chicken and beef. No, we are not in Kansas anymore. We are in Arkansas, though, at the Kontiki African Restaurant, on state Highway 111 in Alexander.
    • Jan 18, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016
  • Today in Trump: Obstruction of justice anyone?

    It's the New York Times with the news today. Fired FBI Director James Comey kept notes of his talks with Donald Trump. A memo he wrote in February after a meeting with Trump said the president asked him to shut down the investigation into Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Deputy killed, police chief wounded in Sebastian County. Suspect in custody

    40/29 TV reports that two law officers were shot about 7 a.m. today near Hackett in Sebastian County and at mid-afternoon came word that one of them had died. Later in the day a suspect was taken into custody in the shooting.
    • Aug 10, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

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