Sometimes it seems the state’s Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) just can’t win.
An agency that generally only gets in the news when it’s bad news tried yesterday to put some positive spin on Jay Inslee’s vaunted “Lean Management” program. The DSHS Director, former Democrat legislator Kevin Quigley, trumpeted the news that DSHS had used “lean” principles to save almost $21 million dollars.
However, once you looked beneath the headline, you could see that Mr. Quigley was a little “lean” with his facts.
Turns out that the millions in savings he applauded were actually “theoretical” ones, with no impact on the agency’s balance sheet. And when pressed, a DSHS spokesperson couldn’t identify what the agency was doing differently that resulted in those savings.
Unfortunately for DSHS, on the same day its leaders were trying to generate good news, King 5 came out with some hard truths about how some in the state’s largest agency feel about input from employees – it’s “junk.”
It seems that about two years, in an attempt to bolster the department’s image and eliminate a pesky backload in its “fraud tips” department, employees came up with the novel idea of just throwing the tips away. It proved very effective – hit delete enough times, backlog was gone. Mission accomplished.
Guess those employees were practicing “lean management” before its time.