The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Don't Like Answer? Just Remove It From The Report

That's what the Texas Health and Human Services Commission did after they disagreed with the state auditor's estimates on how much would be saved by privatization/outsourcing:

A dispute remains unsettled between the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the state auditor's office over how much would be saved by privatizing the commission's human resources and payroll functions.

Last year, the commission, which oversees all of the state's health and welfare services, said it was beginning its effort to privatize some services now provided by state workers as a cost-saving move.

Because the commission disagreed with the auditors' preliminary analysis that only $1.1 million would be saved, the figure was dropped from the auditors' final report, released Tuesday.

Instead, the figure was replaced with a statement that auditors were unable to quantify what savings would come from outsourcing.

Seriously? That's ridiculous. But wait, there's more:

In response to auditors' continued request that "all relevant costs" be considered when analyzing the cost-effectiveness of outsourcing, Hawkins wrote that the commission chose to include only those budget costs "directly related to the human resources, payroll and supporting automation operations."

Precisely documenting all relevant costs, Hawkins wrote, "was deemed cost-prohibitive, overly time-consuming, and of dubious value to the decision-making process."

So basically what the commission did was take a step back, guesstimate, and then throuth that number up on the wall. Because to precisely document all costs is too expensive and takes too much time.

This is outrageous. That's all that can be said.

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