Strayhorn Says Accenture Taking Texas to Cleaners

Comptroller releases report charging that agreement between Accenture and Health and Human Services Commission was crafted to benefit Accenture's bottom line, and that the company has already profited despite series of missteps

Can 60 legislators, two gubernatorial candidates, and the Texas State Employees Union be wrong about Accenture? Gov. Rick Perry and his top lieutenants seem to think so, as they are always quick to defend the controversial contractor the state hired last year to process applications for social services. But last week, one of Perry's opponents, Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, raised the stakes with the release of a 161-page report that accuses Accenture of taking Texas to the cleaners on the $899 million contract.

The report charges that the agreement between Accenture and the Health and Human Services Commission was crafted to benefit Accenture's bottom line and that the company has already profited despite a series of widely reported missteps, including ill-timed layoff announcements and the swift drop of more than 20,000 needy children from the Children's Health Insurance Program in the last year. The report also faulted HHSC for handing Accenture the job without much forethought, resulting in a transitional train wreck of sorts.

The comptroller's office launched an investigation into Accenture five months ago at the request of three lawmakers – Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso, and Reps. Carter Casteel, R-New Braunfels, and Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio. The three were also among 60 legislators last July who signed a letter calling for termination of the Accenture contract; 30 other lawmakers responded with a letter supporting Accenture. Perry's office has accused Strayhorn of politicizing the Accenture deal by releasing her report less than two weeks before the election. For that matter, Democrat Chris Bell has spotlighted Accenture in one of his TV ads.

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at austinchronicle.com/opinion.

  • More of the Story

  • Naked City

    Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond

    Streetcar Plans Unveiled

    Capital Metro unveiled its streetcar circulator route for Downtown and Mueller at its recent board meeting, but the agency still managed to see that announcement upstaged by a proposal to double current bus fares and a likely impending labor squabble.
  • Cops Still Looking for Student Accused of Sexual Assault

    Eighteen-year-old wanted on attempted aggravated sexual assault charge after allegedly holding pair of scissors to his Reagan High School teacher's neck

    Travis Co. Has New Deputy Chief ME

    Travis Co. Commissioners announce decision to hire Dr. James A. Wilkerson IV as county's new deputy chief medical examiner

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Accenture
Meet Accomplice, the Austin Startup Paving the Way Toward an Immersive Future
Meet Accomplice, the Austin Startup Paving the Way Toward an Immersive Future
Striving for a world with no more boring experiences

Tom Cheredar, Nov. 15, 2019

VR/AR @ SXSW
VR/AR @ SXSW
What you see (and immersively interact with) is what you get

Wayne Alan Brenner, March 8, 2019

More Health and Human Services Commission
Health Department Wants Fetal Remains Buried, Cremated
Health Department Wants Fetal Remains Buried, Cremated
State officials waste no time in proposing new abortion restrictions

Mary Tuma, July 15, 2016

Millions for Propaganda ... Nothing for Women's Health
Millions for Propaganda ... Nothing for Women's Health
Texas heavily underwrites anti-abortion centers, while slashing reproductive care

Mary Tuma, April 17, 2015

More by Amy Smith
The Work Matters
The Work Matters
A look back at some of our most impactful reporting

Sept. 3, 2021

Well-Behaved? Let's Assume Not.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story
Barbara Leaming's new biography makes the case that Jackie O suffered from PTSD

Nov. 28, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Accenture, Rick Perry, Carole Keeton Strayhorn, Health and Human Services Commission, CHIP

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle