WSJ Editorial: DHHS Sec. owes counties, public an apology

The Winston-Salem Journal doesn’t mince words in its Thursday morning editorial calling on DHHS Sec. Aldona Wos to apologize for her department’s efforts to cast the blame of recent food stamp distribution problems on county-level workers. The editorial board writes:

Aldona WosAldona Wos, state secretary of health and human services, owes an apology to every social services worker in the state after she and her underlings incorrectly blamed them for this summer’s breakdown in the food stamp approval.

When NC FAST, the state’s computer system for social services, went online with new software on July 15, the application process sputtered like a car running on tainted fuel. Computer screens in county offices locked up, their screens went blank and they often lost data already entered.

Wos and her staff repeatedly blamed the counties, saying they had failed to properly train for the long-anticipated software rollout and that they did not employ enough workers.

In the meantime, almost 70,000 North Carolinians who needed food stamps were not getting them, and the county workers who could not make the systems work were getting the blame, both from the citizens and from Raleigh.

It was unfair behavior on the part of Wos and her minions.

An exhaustive search of DHHS email by WRAL-TV of Raleigh determined that DHHS officials have known for quite a while that the problem did not reside, for the most part, in the 100 county departments but with a glitch in the state software. The fix came more than a month after the problems started when some county workers, on their own initiative, changed their browsers from Internet Explorer to Google Chrome.

The pain was considerable here in Forsyth County, where local officials referred approximately 1,200 families to local food banks. No doubt, many Forsyth County employees went home from work this summer seriously frustrated with a computer system that wouldn’t work and a state office that was blaming them.

The good news is that the system is running well now and that a serious backlog has been eliminated. And, at Forsyth DSS, Director Joe Raymond spoke understandably about the problems his workers and N.C. DHHS faced.

Raymond’s graciousness is much more welcome than Wos’s acerbic finger-pointing. It’s time for the secretary to admit she was wrong, and then to apologize.


  1. love my state

    December 12, 2013 at 10:23 am

    don’t hold your breath.. this administration has no clue and is inept in every phase of governing. the emperor has no clothes my friends.

  2. GOP Rules

    December 12, 2013 at 10:32 am

    My question is, since writers of blog posts on this site has purported to hate corruption in all it’s forms, is when we are going to get off this dead end Wos thing and go to some actual corruption. Maybe a couple of posts and overall eviceration on Deb McManus would be warranted. Sarah O as the designated corruption coverer…we are looking at you for some “journalism” skills to shine the light on one (more) of your liberal cronies! We expect play by play in the mold of the Larouque coverage.


  3. ML

    December 12, 2013 at 11:43 am

    In comparing the stories, one involves individual tax fraud whereas lauroque involved long term fraud with state funds. Apples and oranges but I agree the story about the democrat is lacking here. I’m sure civitas has covered the story plenty. If not then maybe we are correct in deeming the story unworthy of coverage.

  4. GOP Rules

    December 12, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    So….corruption is not an issue? They are still government funds in the trust of the person, but since it is a Democrat I would expect that excuse here. But…if this is her personal life who knows what she may have been involved with on the state level. I guess scandal is only a scandal if it involves the GOP…..crickets chirp when it is a donkey in trouble.

    And with that response ML/Alan…I expect no replies when I make excuses for the next Republican who is involved with a minor scandal like Larouque has been.

  5. dw

    December 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    GOP Rules wants some home grown corruption? Try this on for size and you’ll discover why there isn’t funds for schools when school bonds are used for cronyism.


  6. Alan

    December 12, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    And GOP Rules, the full time Civitas funded blogger strikes…. The article reported the editorial of a local newspaper, it wasn’t authored by PP. Perhaps you should direct your vitriol to the Winston-Salem Journal Instead?

    PS. Your paranoia about ML and I being one and the same is getting hilarious…

  7. ML

    December 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Only GOP Rules can disagree me at the same time I agree with him. But my second point is the news worthiness of this story that you complain about here but it is no where to be seen from civitas or conservative think tanks. Yet the N&O, WRAL, and other “mainstream” news sources have and this blog feels it unnecessary to continue any further insight all at the same time as the conservatives propaganda sites don’t seem to care much either.

    I’m not making any excuses here just saying that the stories are of different magnitudes and thus do not correlate, which is the likely cause of the lack in coverage from both sides; however, I feel that you are correct in criticizing the lack of coverage here.

  8. GOP Rules

    December 13, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Hey Alan/ML/paid policy watch blogger…..you have invented a new persona! Welcome “dw” or is it ML….or Alan….or a new PW intern now that colleges are out for the nondenominational winter solstice break?

  9. ML

    December 13, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Sometimes when you get out of your social circle you get outnumbered. I think that’s what GOP is experiencing. Unless of course you make alter egos or in gop’s case just clones with different names. I’ll call them troll drones.

Check Also

The week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

1. Teachers demand policy changes, cheer Cooper at ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Friends, neighbors, colleagues of commission chairman Jim Womack submit nearly identical letters cla [...]

When N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger addressed reporters last [...]

Big corporations and wealthy executives have been on quite a run. Corporate profits are at historic [...]

This week the ACLU of North Carolina announced an initiative to end cash bail in North Carolina. Reg [...]

There are a lot of important statistics that confirm just how out of whack the U.S. economy has grow [...]

The post Bite the Apple & NC’s HB2 Legacy appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

When I headed off to college, I could not have predicted that many of the funding streams, positions [...]

For those who pay only periodic attention to the ins and outs of lawmaking in the North Carolina Gen [...]

Now hiring

NC Policy Watch is now hiring a Managing Editor – click here for more info.