Gov.-elect Greg Abbott has enlisted two state government veterans to quickly review contracting practices and oversight in Medicaid and social services programs.
The incoming GOP chief executive asked former deputy comptroller Billy Hamilton and Agriculture Department financial officer Heather Griffith Peterson to conduct an independent review of “management, operations, and contracting” at the Health and Human Services Commission.
In recent weeks, press reports and state Auditor John Keel have raised troubling questions about two major contracts — a $20 million award to Austin tech company 21CT to detect Medicaid fraud and a $105 million, telecom “managed services” deal with Dallas-based AT&T Inc.
The telecom deal was evaluated and partly managed by state employees who previously worked for AT&T, according to a critical state audit released last month. According to earlier press reports, a former lobbyist for 21CT used to be a business partner of Jack Stick — at the time, a high-ranking Health and Human Services Commission official.