The State Auditor’s Office recently reviewed the human resources management of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and found multiple inadequacies in the management of the agency’s employees. Perhaps the most notable find was that the agency was continuing to pay more than 1,100 employees who no longer worked at the commission, at a cost of more than $700,000. On the bright side, an agency spokesperson told the San Antonio Express News that it had collected more than half of the payments and was working to locate the remaining money.

Senator Jane Nelson, chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, shares our disdain. “It is unimaginable that a terminated employee would continue to receive a paycheck or that someone could be placed on ‘emergency’ leave for a year while investigations of criminal background checks are taking place,” she said.

This is a prime example of bureaucratic inefficiencies and clearly displays the government’s inability to perform business operations. This is a perfect area for a private entity to come in and employ the corporate skills they have developed in the private sector to the human resources tasks that the agency has been unable to master. Currently, portions of HHSC’s human resources responsibilities are outsourced, but allowing expert human resource companies to handle the 50,000-plus employees at HHSC would free up the agency to focus more directly on its core mission.

– Kalese Hammonds