Janek’s Role Being Questioned in Contracting Scandal

THHSC building
Texas Health and Human Services Commission

According to a story in the Austin American Statesman today, the leadership of HHSC Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek is being questioned by state Sen. John Whitmire in the upheaval that is shaking HHSC over the now-canceled multi-million dollar contract for Medicaid data mining software with Austin firm 21CT.

Contract bypassed two state committees

The Statesman found that those handling the contract which cost taxpayers $20 million initially and was going to be extended for another $90 million had bypassed two state committees that should have reviewed the deal – the Quality Assurance Team and the Contract Advisory Team.

Wilson and Stick gone

Already Inspector General Doug Wilson and his former assistant and HHSC chief counsel Jack Stick have exited the agency and three other staff, two being Stick and Wilson’s wives, have been put on paid leave.

Whitmire was upset that spouses worked together so high up in the agency and told the Statesman:

The buck stops at the top

“It questions the leadership of the entire agency. The buck stops at the top. To learn that they circumvented two opportunities to say, ‘No, that’s not the way you should operate?’ It shows a cover-up…It just confirms the need for a criminal investigation.”

Investigations started

Currently, the Travis County district attorney’s Public Integrity Unit is starting an investigation and state Rep. Garnet Coleman is calling for a federal investigation as well.

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