LINCOLN — Gov. Dave Heineman acknowledged Thursday that Nebraska’s initiative to privatize child welfare services has “not gone as well as anyone would like.” …  Heineman’s comments were his first since State Auditor Mike Foley released a scathing report on the privatization initiative. The audit found that privatization has been plagued by escalating costs, lack of documentation, lost records and overpayments. It also cited numerous incidents of state officials failing to cooperate with the audit.

Read more: Omaha World Herald, September 16, 2011

LINCOLN — A Nebraska advocacy group called Wednesday for the state to halt its controversial effort to privatize child-welfare services. The Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest made the recommendation after a blistering state audit of the privatization initiative. “It’s time to say enough is enough,” said Sarah Helvey, an Appleseed attorney. “There is a growing body of evidence now that this reform is failing.”

Among Foley’s findings:

  • HHS failed to secure possession of important, as well as potentially confidential, documents relating to client services after terminating its contract with Visinet.
  • HHS failed to reconcile provider billings in N-FOCUS, the agency’s main computer system, which prevented effective agency oversight of both service expenditures and the welfare of children in state custody.
  • Service providers failed to meet client service coordination and delivery benchmarks required by the service contracts with HHS.
  • HHS failed to prevent former employees of service providers from gaining access to confidential client information in N-FOCUS, and at least one continued to access those records.

Read more: Omaha World Herald, September 8, 2011

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