Monday, May 01, 2006

The "OTHER" State Employee

I have been pondering my thoughts for several days now, continuing to observe the excellent knowledge displayed by HHSCemployee. This whole thing is just one great big mess as ANYONE that has worked for this agency for any length of time stated from the beginning: THIS TIERS/TAA/IEE idea WILL NEVER WORK. The thing that gets me is the different names that ‘it’ has taken on over time, all in the name of hiding it from the public as well as pulling the wool over Legislator’s eyes. Some of them are beginning to wake up, IS IT TOO LATE? Hmmmm Let’s see. TIES (Texas Integrated Eligibility System): I believe that started sometime in the early 90’s. OH WAIT! THAT did not work so let’s just RENAME it, tack on another several HUNDRED MILLION BUCKS, and keep on truckin’. Now you have TIERS, same idea, same results: FAILURE. OH OK, let’s get RID of this problem once and for all and OUTSOURCE to Accenture to the tune of A BILLION $$. (Did you notice that shortly after this contract was inked that TIGER WOODS signed an endorsement deal with them?) Now add IEE: Integrated Eligibility and Enrollment. Just WHAT is THAT? Now the MAXe3 Program that is ‘supposed’ to interface with TIERS? NOTHING interfaces with TIERS correctly, c’mon. HHSCemployee considers themself as ‘Rambling’………..naaaaa the ‘RAMBLING’ has now begun. There are so many different things going on now it makes me literally SICK. As has already been stated so eloquently by HHSCemployee, the local field offices are literally crumbling at the seams. I THOUGHT it was bad LAST YEAR, but it inevitably gets worse on a daily basis, if not hourly.

In an effort to stay at least somewhat sane while trying to put my thoughts on paper, I guess I will just try one little post at a time, one subject at a time. I guess that is how you are ‘supposed’ to blog, but I have never even attempted it. At this time I find myself with no choice, the word has to get out that this whole OUTSOURCE fiasco is not only a terrible idea for clients, but terrible for state employees, and terrible for THE STATE.


Convergys was awarded the contract to take over most of the Human Resource functions of all of HHSC’s new ‘umbrella’ of agencies, which were combined as a result of HB2292. Why can’t they just call themselves ‘Convergys’? Nope, to most they, or it, is referred to as AccessHR. It appears to me as if all of the contractors that the state has outsourced with is a name covered by another. WHY?

Back to the bones of this program. It has been plagued by problems since day ONE. Start with the training that was offered to supervisors at the Frank Erwin Center. TRAINING? Is it really training to go sit in an auditorium and listen to someone speaking, while a power point presentation ran, that spoke as if she had just left her job as the emcee at Sea World with coverage of Shamu. It was so dry and bland, uninteresting, and the information and guarantee of something better was UNTRUE at the bare minimum. Also, how much was the rent at the Erwin Center, wonder if we got the state rate of $80 a day?

Then it ‘rolls out’ and employees are unable to access the system for hours at a time (too much traffic and the system could not handle it, (well just how many people did you THINK were going to be accessing it?), and even when it could be accessed, it DID NOT WORK correctly. It started with employees trying to keep time and leave on it, and it was confusing to say the least, but most importantly STILL did not work right. Most employees to this day find it complicated to use. Then the problems with potential employees……..Shortly after the grand opening of AccessHR, if you will, the system LOST over TEN THOUSAND applications for employment. Hmmmmmmm? At this point folks don’t want to work here anyway, I guess, maybe they were done a favor??

Supervisors attempting to get jobs posted have to call AccessHR for assistance. It is not like calling your normal HR Department, instead, like calling tech support. This CONTINUES TODAY. It takes an act of congress and much praying when you click submit to get the system to even accept a requisition request. When the system DOES accept it so that applicants can VIEW IT, most times it will NOT accept the application. More times than not, job candidates are referred by AccessHR staff to FAX the application instead of trying to using the automated system. I have applied for SEVERAL positions in AccessHR, the status of most on the site have a ‘status message’ near the requisition number that states “Application Complete”. DUH I know I completed an application, but WHAT IS THE STATUS OF IT?? It has been MONTHS on some of the submissions, yet I don’t know what happened. Surely the hiring manager has hired someone by now right? With a college degree and well over 15 years state service I KNOW I am eligible for an interview. Maybe I am over qualified, who knows.

Next. Try signing up for an AccessHR job agent. You know, one of those cool internet things that you tell what type of job you want and where, and it emails you when something is available? Sure, it will email you, but click on the link for the position you would like to apply for, or to even look at it to see if you are interested. OOOOPS. SORRY. That link takes you to NOTHING, never has.

I am sure I will read over this and laugh at myself for carrying on like this, but you know, I just cannot stand it anymore. Dedicated STATE EMPLOYEES are being SCREWED, being asked to do MORE AND MORE and given LESS AND LESS to do it with.
I FEEL SORRY for TEXAS and its citizens. This is going to get MUCH worse before it gets better, and our clients and my fellow state employees are going to SUFFER for time to come. Get REAL Mr. Commissioner! (I am sure he is planning to jump ship soon too, like other state employees are doing at a faster pace than ever). Enjoy your retirement. As a matter of fact, come on back and ‘double-dip” as an Advisor. Bet you don’t last a day.


hhscsurvivalist said...

I am amazed that it has not yet come out that a source at DHS (now known as HHSC) IT said that our SAVERR system (which HHSC says is a defunct dinosaur) could have been converted into a Windows based environment for less than 100K.

HHSC does not want Joe Public, must less the legislators, to know this.

Anonymous said...

I'm ROFL trying to imagine the commissioner be an advisor for a day. I'd make sure all his appointments were TANF reapps with Pay-for-Performance requirements. And he'll get 30 minutes for each interview.

Anonymous said...

I am loving every letter of the post!!! There is more truth in it that was told to me in my 14 years with DHS/HHSC!!!