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Department of Health and Human Services

Let technical workers do work, and reduce technical contracts.

Technical workers are doing less and less operational work and more contract administration as privatization interests have pushed technical work out of agencies and into contracts. There are 5 times more contractor personnel than federal workers, and agencies know less about their own internal data systems than do outside contractors. As work has become more and more information driven, agencies have become more atrophied in understanding data systems details, and as well, are less efficient and effective in managing contractors in the quality of their work as legacy intelligence for managing and judging that work has withered in this outsourcing process. Please hire and hold onto research and analytic talent and place them in leadership positions where data systems are widespread and other internal admin staff are not literate or enabled to generate information from those sources. Require agencies such as CMS, CDC, ARHQ, and others within HHS to place chief Statistical officers to guide internal use and training on underutilized data systems, and reduce the huge delays from inefficient use of data and systems needed to produce performance measurement to guide quality improvement planning and assessment in health care and elsewhere. When that work is attempted by contractors that are guided by operationally weak, new program leaders, delays and inefficieny and massive waste commonly results. Then contractors get blamed for poor results and competed, and the delays begin anew. Our internal technical leadership is weak, and when new recruits with high levels of operational training are brought in to help, and are told that they must become contracting administrative staff, doing contract oversight and not doing technical work, we lose them to turnover, because their supervisors don't know how to support them if they want to, or how to get them access to data to do analytic work because data seems like the third rail, foreign and difficult stuff.

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Idea No. 15988