State halts project over cost, ‘cozy’ relationship with vendor – Houston Chronicle

AUSTIN – Texas health officials abruptly have pulled the plug on a major data project amid concerns about its cost and suggestions the tentative contract winner was receiving inside information from state negotiators.

The decision to end negotiations with Truven Health Analytics of Ann Arbor, Mich., is another setback for the Legislature’s decade-old plan to increase data-based decision-making at the Health and Human Services Commission, a mega-agency that runs the state’s Medicaid program, foster-care system and many other services.

The “enterprise data warehouse” project is expected to be tweaked and put out to bid again, a process that would take months and cost the state tens of thousands of dollars in staff time.

More damaging, potentially, is a perception among some contractors that the state is rebidding the project to give another chance to a company favored by a new top commission official…

In the absence of information, rumors have been bouncing around the Capitol for days with much suspicion centering on the leaked comment by Jack Stick, the commission’s new top lawyer.

Stick, who previously served as the commission’s deputy inspector general, said his former division had a data project with another contractor charging much less than Truven was requesting.

The comment got back to Truven, which viewed it as an attempt by Stick to convince other officials to revoke the tentative award and give to the contract to the other company, according to one of its lobbyists.

via State halts project over cost, ‘cozy’ relationship with vendor – Houston Chronicle.

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