USDA warns about how not to run food stamps

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is warning states about potential problems with outsourcing food stamp operations.
The USDA letter, without naming states, says such private projects encountered severe problems in meeting critical performance standards and eligible applicants suffered.
Texas in 2005 hired a group led by Accenture LLP to run call centers for enrollment in food stamps and Medicaid. The project encountered training and technology problems. The agreement was scrapped in 2007.
The Austin American-Statesman reported Tuesday that the letter comes as Texas is negotiating a new contract with a private company already doing some aspects of enrollment.
Texas is negotiating a deal with Maximus, which in June tentatively won a contract to continue running call centers in Austin, San Antonio, Midland and Athens. Maximus is a former Accenture subcontractor.
Information from: Austin American-Statesman,

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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