Texas HHSC Official Steps Down Over Contract Issues

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission reached another milestone in its ongoing contracting saga this week, as Chief Operating Officer Heather Griffith Peterson resigned after two years on the job.

The agency’s procurement issues are well-documented and not new, stretching back to former commissioner Kyle Janek’s 2015 resignation after the revelation that the agency had awarded a contract without a proper bidding process.

Gov. Greg Abbott came in vowing to clean things up. But the scandal renewed earlier this month when the scoring tool used to rate bids apparently wasn’t doing so properly, leading the state to fire three employees and walk back previously awarded contracts to big names like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and Texas Children’s Health Plan, as the Texas Tribune reports.

After a scathing report from The State Auditor’s Office on Monday found inaccurate calculations and a failure to verify vendor qualifications with regard to a $10 million-plus contract, Peterson resigned effective Wednesday. More on that at the Trib, as well.