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Thursday, December 21, 2006
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HHSC to make announcement about Accenture deal
By Staff | Thursday, December 21, 2006, 10:14 AM
Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Albert Hawkins will make an announcement this afternoon about the states controversial $800 million-plus deal with the Texas Access Alliance, a commission spokeswoman said. The Texas Access Alliance, led by Accenture LLP, was hired to run an enrollment system for food stamps, Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The privatization of tasks formerly done by the state was supposed to save the state money and make it easier for Texans to enroll by allowing them to sign up via phone, Internet, fax, mail or in person instead of just in person.
But when the private group took over in Hays and Travis counties nearly a year ago, the system became plagued with problems. Some Texans eligible for public assistance were declared ineligible or received benefits late. Hawkins delayed statewide rollout of the new system, and some legislators have called on him to cancel the contract. Commission spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman did not say what the announcement will be, but she did say: "I promise you a headline." Stay tuned.