July 23, 2018

The Office of Inspector General has released a report that identifies HHS procurement issues raised by multiple audits, reports and investigations over the last five years.

Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) currently oversees approximately 108,500 contracts that account for an estimated at $60.2 billion in associated spending. Over the past five years, HHS has seen lapses in the procurement and contracting processes for several major procurements and contracts; most recently, several protests by contract bidders led to the discovery of errors and the cancellation of the procurement for the Children’s Health Insurance Program services in the Hidalgo and rural service areas (CHIP RSA).

In April, Texas Governor Greg Abbott asked the Office of Inspector General (OIG) to “immediately investigate the underlying procurement process to uncover any and all errors with this system” and to “conduct a thorough inquiry to get to the bottom of this issue.”

The OIG’s investigation identified a number of issues with the CHIP RSA procurement, although the findings were not unique to that procurement. The OIG then reviewed various internal and external reports to identify trends and fundamental changes that can promote the integrity of the procurement process.

The OIG reviewed previously published reports regarding HHS procurements from 2013-2018, including investigations, audits, and reports by the OIG, other state agencies, the federal government and the Texas Legislature. The report presents issues from the OIG Internal Affairs investigation of the CHIP RSA procurement, outlines associated procurement issues from prior investigations, audits, and reports, and identifies opportunities for improvement for HHS.

Read the full report here.