Editorial: DHHS should reform, not spin

The Winston-Salem Journal hits the nail on the head this morning:

“When efficient organizations make a mistake, they fix it.

When dysfunctional organizations like the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services make repeated mistakes, they assign more public- relations people.”

The editorial then goes on to detail some of the troubled agency’s myriad problems under embattled Secretary Aldona Wos — with computer systems, bizarre decisions during the federal shutdown, personnel issues, less-than-candid responses to lawmakers and the state Auditor and its misguided Medicaid privatization efforts.
It concludes this way:

“Rather than fix her controversies-of-the-month, Wos is putting more public relations people in place, moving them from other areas in DHHS but not giving details on where they’re coming from or what their salaries are. Journal reporter Richard Craver reported this week, based on documents secured by N.C. Policy Watch, that one of those highly paid recent college grads, Ricky Diaz, penned an internal memo outlining that there will soon be a staff of 24 in the public relations section he heads.

Diaz, who is paid $85,000 annually to lead DHHS’s PR, “declined to answer questions about the cost of the salaries to fill the six vacant jobs and the communications office’s overall payroll,” Craver reported.”

So they’re expanding communications but can’t answer simple questions?

DHHS officials say they’re just following state law and policies on new hires and salaries for vacant positions, but they won’t say which of those positions are state-exempt ones.

Rather than expand her department’s flack corps, Wos should be fixing DHHS’s operations. As other critics have indicated, North Carolina needs more reform and less spin from her department.”

Amen.

You can read the entire editorial by clicking here.

 

8 Comments

  1. ML

    November 8, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    So the 85k wiz kid gets to hire his frat buddies? What a joke that nobody with any actual experience or skill is even allowed to apply for these jobs. If they are following state laws the the law is an ass and needs to be changed.

  2. Frances Jenkins

    November 8, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    They could have hired Michelle Obama’s classmate and not have a system at all, period.

  3. ML

    November 9, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    At least her classmates would have law degrees. From Harvard….

  4. ML

    November 9, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Plus they’d be about 50 and have some real life experience in policy work but solid point maybe they should look it

  5. Alan

    November 9, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    The WSJ does have it right. The current management has a huge job picking up the pieces and making the dysfunctional DHHS left behind by all the mismanagement of the Hunt/Sleazley/Perdue years. If you think this is a situation that just started in January 2013 you are sadly naive. We are finally in much better hands with some hope to that in the future something will work correctly with the DHHS money pit. That is if we don’t go bankrupt first.

  6. LayintheSmakDown

    November 9, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    I certainly agree with the WSJ. With the dysfunctional department that was inherited in January 2013 there is a lot of work to clean up from decades of liberal mismanagement. At least now there is a light at the end of the tunnel that in the future there will be a well run basis to build on (at least in government terms, which no matter who is in charge is a whole lotta not good at it’s core).

  7. Alan

    November 9, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    “I certainly agree with the WSJ”, somehow, I’m not surprised.

  8. ML

    November 10, 2013 at 10:09 am

    I agree with everything rupert murdoch sells because making up my own mind hurts…