Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: Jun 16, 2006
FSSA contract review team continues work

INDIANAPOLIS (June 16, 2006) ? Governor Mitch Daniels has agreed to give an inter-agency team that is reviewing the state?s efforts to reform the welfare delivery system more time to complete its work. The governor received an update on the six-member team?s due diligence efforts prior to his departure Saturday on an 11-day trade mission to Asia.

Earl Goode, the governor?s deputy chief of staff and chairman of the Executive Inter-Agency Review Team, said that since mid-May when the team was appointed, it has analyzed enough information to concur that modernization of the state?s welfare delivery system is needed and that the broad solutions proposed for Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) delivery systems are on target. However, the team has reached no conclusion about the specific means of implementation.

The team has already met six times to hear from senior FSSA officials and field employees at all levels, toured three county offices, and contacted and gathered information from other states that have engaged in similar modernization projects, as a part of its effort to review the request for proposals issued by FSSA earlier this year for a contract to modernize the public assistance eligibility determination system.

?We concur with FSSA?s conclusion that the status quo is simply not an option. As we learned from our deliberations, our record on getting people from welfare to work is one of the worst in the nation, we have extremely high error rates in eligibility determinations, we waste millions of tax dollars, and we make it incredibly inconvenient for our clients to do business with us. For these reasons, we confirm FSSA?s decision to reform and modernize the system,? Goode said.

However, Goode said the team has identified some questions and tactical issues that it wants to examine further before making a recommendation to Daniels about a specific agreement with a vendor. Goode said the team will continue its due diligence efforts until it is has either negotiated a proposed agreement for review or prepared an alternative recommendation.

Daniels had originally asked the group to conclude its review by mid-June, but has agreed with the request for an extension.

The governor formed the team as a part of the state?s preparations to enter contract negotiations following receipt of two contract bids. He asked the group to provide him with advice and counsel because the reform implications of such a contract extend beyond the scope of any one department. Members of the team are Goode; Carrie Henderson, commissioner of the Department of Administration; Nate Feltman, chief of staff and general counsel for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation; Karl Browning, the Office of Technology?s chief information officer; Charles Schalliol, director of the Office of Management and Budget; and Debra Minot, director of the state Department of Personnel.