SC

More Consultants Hired At SC Welfare Agency

THIS OUGHT TO DO IT! South Carolina’s official motto is Dum Spiro Spero , which is Latin for “While I Breathe, I hope.”  It ought to be “fake it ’till you make it,” though (on so many levels).  Of course the Palmetto State never “makes it,” so that wouldn’t work ……

THIS OUGHT TO DO IT!

South Carolina’s official motto is Dum Spiro Spero , which is Latin for “While I Breathe, I hope.”  It ought to be “fake it ’till you make it,” though (on so many levels).  Of course the Palmetto State never “makes it,” so that wouldn’t work …

South Carolina keeps finding increasingly expensive ways to screw the pooch … on the economy, education, health care … you name it.

Take the S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS), which continues to be an unmitigated disaster more than two months after its director was forced to resign her position.

SCDSS – which runs a host of welfare programs – has been beset by numerous scandals since S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley appointed Lillian Koller in 2011.  And while Koller may be gone, the scandals remain.

Is SCDSS doing anything to fix those scandals?  Of course not …

It is, however, spending an untold amount of money on a new “communications plan” aimed at providing the agency with “a roadmap for how we can better foster trust and credibility with the community and stakeholders through reliable, accurate, transparent and timely communication.”

In an agency-wide memo from acting SCDSS director Amber Gillum obtained by FITS, employees at SCDSS are advised that they will be “asked to participate in interviews, on-line surveys, or focus groups to help inform the development of the Communication Plan.”

“Stay tuned for more updates as we begin this exciting journey,” the memo states.

Sheesh …

For an agency that’s already dealt with one scandal over questionable consultant payments, this sort of approach strikes us as insane.

Also, we’re not sure what “communication plan” is going to mitigate the incompetence SCDSS has shown with regard to the state’s child support enforcement database (which more than $170 million later still doesn’t exist), the food stamp waiver touted by Haley in her so-called “war on fat,” the cooked books at its “welfare to work” scam, its fudged food stamp numbers and … oh yeah … the actual blood on this agency’s hands related to its colossally botched child welfare programs.

And those are just the debacles we know about … State Rep. Jenny Horne and the rest of the S.C. General Assembly are still waiting on an audit of the agency they asked for way back in November 2012, a report which is expected to uncover even more bad news.

Bottom line?  SCDSS should be working to fix its problems … not spin them.

SCDSS CONSULTANT MEMO (.pdf)

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38 comments

beenthere August 22, 2014 at 10:17 am

Gillium is nothing but a Koller clone. She is not from SC, and could care less about childen and families here in SC or the staff @ DSS. Until you get rid of her and all the other Koller managers (Regional Directors, Deputy Director, and the Office of General Counsel) nothing @ DSS will change. Keep talking with staff, things are getting worse and worse by the day. Same old fear and intimidation style of management.

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nitrat August 22, 2014 at 11:09 am

And, any name county director installed by the Koller bunch

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concerned August 26, 2014 at 10:21 am

I agree….they have to have a security guard at our County Office. The Director had a Foster Parent arrested for threatening him, now thats what you call working with the community.

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shifty henry August 22, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Where is Killer now? — oops, I mean Koller.

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Grammar Granny August 22, 2014 at 2:39 pm

could not care less….but I agree with your point….

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Gloria August 22, 2014 at 4:24 pm

Its like this with all of Haleys cabinet agencies fear and intimidation.

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Same ol' Same ol' August 22, 2014 at 10:20 am

Sounds like it’s time for a round of buzz word bingo.

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Tunes'n'News August 22, 2014 at 10:20 am

It ought to be “fake it ’till you make it”
Excellent. Get that in Latin.

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Same ol' Same ol' August 22, 2014 at 10:22 am

mendacia, sicuti donasti facere

at least that’s what google translate says

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shifty henry August 22, 2014 at 12:14 pm

“Did you fake it that time, darling?” the husband asked after having sex with his wife.
“No, dear,” she replied. “This time I really was asleep.”

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shifty henry August 22, 2014 at 10:23 am

… you will be asked to participate in interviews, on-line surveys, or focus groups … We look forward to hearing your thoughts and insights… and thank you in advance for your feedback. Stay tuned for more updates as we begin this exciting journey.
——-
Someone needs to keep a tally on how many employees will be fired because of their honest responses and input.
Also, shouldn’t the focus be on clients/human beings instead of “stakeholders”? Who/what the big F is she referring to?

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euwe max August 22, 2014 at 10:40 am

Sounds like Glorieta’s red hat book club and petit four chat group.

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Torch August 22, 2014 at 10:30 am

Who are the consultants? Headline says that DSS is hiring more consultants but doesn’t say who or what the consultants are doing.

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shifty henry August 22, 2014 at 10:41 am

Well, it’s sort of similar to this…
—–
“Senator Bluster, what’s the election today for?”

“Well, it is to determine whether we shall have a convention to nominate delegates who will be voted on as to whether they will attend a caucus which will decide whether we shall have a primary to determine whether the people want to vote on this same question again next year.”

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Boston Consulting August 22, 2014 at 11:07 am

If you’ve ever been in a company that has hired consultants(I have been), the process is pretty comedic even at the higher levels.

Think “Office Space” by Mike Judge…it really does work that way. I can’t imagine it being any better for a gov’t agency.

To me, it’s usually the final gasp for the death of said entity.

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Sailor August 22, 2014 at 11:22 am

Plus 10

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Boston Consulting August 22, 2014 at 11:37 am

*for=before

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Senator Leatherman Sucks August 22, 2014 at 11:44 am

I’ve seen it before. It was really a pathetic joke. A waste of money and time. Nothing was changed after the fact. Just many were fired (those who followed rules and procedures, did there jobs, were not).

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Soft Sigh from Hell August 23, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Who gets the consulting contract?
Selecting big boss: “What time have you got there?” (motioning toward their wristwatches)
Consultant A: “About 10:10.”
Consultant B “10:07.”
Consultant C: “What time would you like it to be?”

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nitrat August 22, 2014 at 11:08 am

Read the linked to memo: “Sponsored by Casey Family Programs, we have engaged the Clarus Consulting Group…”

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Torch August 22, 2014 at 11:23 am

Thanks. Missed the PDF.

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Smirks August 22, 2014 at 10:34 am

There’s a simple solution to this: Have the consultants hire consultants.

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shifty henry August 22, 2014 at 10:42 am

[ see my reply to Torch ]

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nitrat August 22, 2014 at 10:50 am

NOT the DSS building…again.

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FedUp August 22, 2014 at 11:06 am

Look at SCDHHS. Spending millions on “consultants” and systematically running off long term State employees who balk at spending public funds to support private interests… Home of “Embrace the New Regeme, comply, or resign, or be fired.”

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nitrat August 22, 2014 at 11:06 am

“Sponsored by Casey Family Programs, we have engaged the Clarus Consulting Group…”
Yes, God, let’s get more help from Annie E. Casey Foundation, the ONE source of ALL of the ‘let’s send children back to those abusive parents, no matter what” bullshit of the last 20 years and see if things get better.
Idiots.

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Siamese August 22, 2014 at 11:22 am

Check out what Jamie Shuster is making at DHEC. Rumor has it she just received a promotion. Even after the TB scandal. Another Haley minion.

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Not a pay raise August 22, 2014 at 11:39 am

“Rumor has it she just received a promotion. ”

It’s called “buying silence”.

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SighTimes100 August 24, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Yeah, let’s look at her history. Way back when, she works in a doctor’s office, managing no one but lying about that to the Senate Medical Affairs Committee during the TB hearings last August. She works for a Columbia, SC political think tank after that, presumably answering phones. Then she is hired by the Gov because her boyfriend works there; she is paid ~65K to review state agency budgets. She is then passed off to DHEC in March 2012 to make ~92K as a public health “expert.” In less than a year she demotes the true head of public health (a real physician and experienced public health practitioner) and gets a raise such that she makes ~119K at the time of the TB hearings last August. Her current pay? Over 132K. I will say it again, OVER 132K. Somebody, please tell me how on Earth that incompetent, inexperienced, mean-spirited and spiteful girl, in just 2.5 years time at a state agency, gets an overall 40K raise, 13K of which is AFTER she royally screws up a response to a major infectious disease outbreak? Is anybody paying attention to the pay increases Templeton has bestowed upon her crony friends? Move over, DSS, there’s plenty of corruption at DHEC that can rival your recent track record.

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Philip Branton August 22, 2014 at 11:35 am

LOL……ya know, maybe Fits needs to hire a few more “consultants” too before a “gummy” article like this released..!? Al Jazeera does better…!!

No wonder Lindsey Graham is gonna be smiling like a pole cat at midnight……..

First off…….where is the link to the DSS website pointing to a list of every public servant working there and their phone numbers…!!

…not just some stupid switchboard……!?

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joe August 23, 2014 at 11:56 am Reply
Stop Haley's Costly Madness August 22, 2014 at 11:40 am

Haley’s insanity and obvious lack of sound judgment is growing into a nasty pimple. That pimple will soon pop at this rate. DSS does not need consultants. It needs a forensic audit and a total clean out and replacement. It is too far out of control. Too much fraud. Too much criminal activity. Too many SLACKERS!

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Stop Haley's Costly Madness August 22, 2014 at 11:45 am

Consultant spends 8 hours of time … cost to taxpayers = $140,000.00

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jimlewisowb August 22, 2014 at 12:06 pm

To: Amber Gillium

From: Jim Lewis, owb

Subject: Your Inability to Count to 2 Without Help from a Cockroach Consultant

Ms. Gillum you are being paid big, big, big, big bucks. You have a command staff which is being paid big, big, big bucks.

If you and your command staff do not have the knowledge/skills/ability to tell stakeholders that you and your command staff don’t know shit, will never know shit and don’t give a shit then how about save me and every other taxpayer some money by not hiring outside Cockroach Consultants to confirm you and your command staff are full of shit

thanks for your time and have a great day

jimlewis, owb

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nitrat August 22, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Hiring consultants is only confirmation that they are too stupid to figure out their own problems.
Idiots.

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concerned August 22, 2014 at 12:33 pm

“Foster a trusting work enviroment” what a joke. They better get into some of these County Office’s and clean house then. The Director in our county promotes a hostile enviroment on certain workers until they quit or get fired. This way he can make room for his friends getting hired.

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Intern August 22, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Wait….isn’t the state already paying “consultants” to help fix DSS (the Legislative Audit Council)? Why are the taxpayers paying two groups of people to do the same thing? You know what? I forgot we’re talking about state government and one of Haley’s agencies. I’ll go take a lap.

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Joe August 23, 2014 at 12:07 pm

If DSS would put the money they spend on hiring high priced consultants towards hiring more people in the counties, and giving them an increase in pay you would see improvements across the board. Many employees work for $21,000 – $29,000 YEARLY. That includes dedicated employees who have been with the state for 20-30 years! We have dedicated, hard working employees in the counties who are as frustrated as everyone else but our hands are tied. Good employees who work hard under less than desirable conditions for supervisors who are unable to lead. You can hire as many consultants as you wish, but until you start LISTENING to the employees who can tell you how to fix the problems you will never see improvements. We are often asked for input but it always falls on deaf ears. Too many people are padding their retirement funds at the expense of the workers and tax payers. STATE EMPLOYEES UNITE! Vote the idiots out of office and accept nothing but those willing to work towards a positive change.

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