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Adventures in mismanagement

Friday, May 30, 2014

* The state shut down Tinley Park Mental Health Center on June 30, 2012. But the state kept paying a lease on its postage meter for almost another year, according to a new Auditor General’s report. That shows the state probably didn’t have its act together when it closed the facility.

But check this out

During a review of 220 equipment items reported to the Department of Central Management Services as lost, valued at $157,656, the auditors noted the following:

- For equipment items with either an acquisition cost in excess of $500 or deemed a high theft, Tinley Park reported 86 items were lost, valued at $123,772. This represented 10% of the total inventory dollar value and 13% of the total number of items on hand at Tinley Park’s closure date of July 1, 2012. […]

- Tinley Park reported it had lost a refrigerated van trailer, valued at $29,217, during its equipment inventory following the closure. [Emphasis added.]

Oy.

* The state also left behind a big junk yard

The auditors identified equipment items, including furniture, 4 farm tractors, a forklift, and 10 inoperable State vehicles that were still on site within various buildings across the Tinley Park campus and had, presumably, been abandoned. The inoperable State vehicles appeared they had been inoperable for a considerable length of time. In addition, the auditors identified one vehicle that had been abandoned by a private person at Tinley Park after it was sold by the DCMS several years ago.

The auditors also identified one operable vehicle at Tinley Park that was in use by the Department of Central Management Services’ caretaker at Tinley Park. This vehicle was still on the Tinley Park equipment inventory at June 30, 2013, totaling $18,135.

* This was common at all the facilities checked

At the Jacksonville Developmental Center, which closed on November 27, 2012, auditors found confidential information in trash receptacles, filing cabinets, binders, boxes, and on desks. We found resident’s names, health information, and social security numbers, a labeled medical specimen, photos of residents’ labeled with residents’ names and incident number, security reports which included residents’ names; filing cabinets with folder separators labeled with residents’ names; two computer monitors and three computer towers; large stack of binders which contained the last name and first initial of residents on the spine of the binders; and manila filing folders with patient names written on the tabs.

Sigh.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

20 Comments
  1. - FormerParatrooper - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    I am not surprised. Whenever any facility shuts down and especially where people lose jobs in the closure a tremendous amount of theft occurs.

    Who was responsible for the last walk around? They should have noted the property that was left and sent the report to the next person in the chain.

    Now that these problems are identified what is the plane to revolver the property and to secure the personal information left there?

    If you check some of the former employees houses I bet you could find at least half of whats missing.


  2. - Anon - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    Those “values” are acquisition costs. Years or decades later the items carry the same value on an inventory.

    The actual value of this stuff –and I am guessing–was not worth the administrative cost of properly transferring around.


  3. - VanillaMan - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 12:30 pm:

    More proof that people easily waste money they don’t consider theirs.


  4. - Anonymous - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    “Lost”…we “lost” that trailer, yeah that’s the ticket…we “lost” it.


  5. - Newsclown - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 12:35 pm:

    I don’t believe most of the losses were theft. Sounds like a lot of the assets were old worn-out junk, too far gone to be worth the cost of removing them. And only the CMS accountants were referring to them at their original value, now long since depreciated and amortized. CMS math is…. special. And when you close a facility and lay off the staff, who is left responsible for unloading that stuff? Nobody. It’s still state property and state land until it gets sold off. So it is “abandoned in place.” Becomes the next owner’s problem.

    But the personal records, that’s a bigger issue. That should have been the staff’s final job assignment on their last week: transferring and disposing of records. You can blame management for not following up on that.


  6. - JustMe_JMO - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    This report does NOT identify what was done (if anything) in the last 2 years to recover missing items or protect private information.


  7. - OneMan - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 12:40 pm:

    Yeah Anon, not state incompetence all, just a simple misunderstanding…

    Lets enjoy some other misunderstandings from the report…

    Page 76
    428 of 510 (84%) pharmaceutical items were inaccurately counted during the June 30, 2013 physical count. The auditors performed test counts and identified a significant number of uncounted items…

    Page 83

    The Department of Human Services did not adequately restrict access to its production data….

    We found several instances where programmers were allowed inappropriate access to production data sets.

    Page 84

    From July to October Department staff sent numerous unprotected emails to our staff that contained infomration such as:

    Protected health information
    Names and social security numbers
    Bank account information

    In each case, out staff informed the sender.

    Really, go read the whole thing, this isn’t just a whoopsie, these folks need to get their stuff together.


  8. - Cassiopeia - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 12:43 pm:

    The sad thing is that no one will be disciplined.


  9. - Anon - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 1:12 pm:

    If it makes you feel any better Cassiopeia, lots of people at those centers lost their jobs.


  10. - Arizona Bob - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 1:15 pm:

    This is one of the things that drove me away from the Democratic Party.

    Back in the 1970s and 1980s when I pretty much voted Dem when I lived in the 19th Ward, the general understanding was that political patronage was a way of life. What kept the local pols in power, however, was delivering services properly and satisfying the constituents. Patronage, at least in the 19th,was limted to the politically connected who at least had what it took to get the job done.

    Heaven help the Precinct Captain who didn’t get the potholes filled and garbage picked up.

    Then things changed. There was little pride in getting the job done by the patronage employees,and more and more grossly incompetent and recalcitrant folks started being hired over those who could do the job, and it showed.

    School building engineers who kept their boiler rooms so clean that you could eat off them were replaced by folks who were more concerned with breaking their well manicured nails than getting the job done.

    Like a virus it spread through the City, Cook County,and then, when Dem Governors took over, to the state.

    When local Dems ran things well, I supported them. As these cases show, that’s not the case anymore. It’s time to break up this system and go back to the “old” dem system of patronage with performance, or maybe some Republicans making that happen.

    The way the GOP is Illinois is run, not much chance there. If we had a few folks like Rep Franks empowered in the Dem castle, maybe things couls change, but he’s certainly an outlier in the party at this point.

    I just don’t see much interest on the part of the electorate to make things work in the city, county and state anymore. Most people like me feel hopelessness with this system and if they have other options, they take them.

    Do any of you insiders out there see ANY anger over this increasing waste and incompetence out there in the precincts? I sure didn’t.


  11. - Charlatan Heston - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    I have visited several shuttered state operated facility buildings when doing consulting work for what was then the Department of Mental Health in the 90’s. Even then the state or agency lacked the skill or willingness to appropriately shutter a building and dispose of equipment and records. I encountered some pretty awful scenarios.


  12. - 100 Miles West - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    I have been through the closure and relocation of a state facility. It is a nightmare and the folks being moved out/ laid off are not very helpful. There are not enough people at CMS, or any agency, to move material. The procurement for hiring or contracting for people to come in and move items to a CMS warehouse is difficult at best. Most of the machinery, vehicles, equipment, costs more to move and store than they are worth. These problems will continue as the state workforce gets smaller and smaller.


  13. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 1:49 pm:

    And the consequences for anyone involved in this are…?


  14. - fed up - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 2:29 pm:

    Just another day in Illinois. Lets hear one more time how all the waste and corruption are gone.


  15. - who cares - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 2:47 pm:

    The Political appointee will never lose a days pay or get fired! They are politically protected. The Union workers are protected by the Union and never lose any pay. I remember a former Deputy Director of another department saying many times! “Its not coming out of my pocket, so who cares.” Until the State and federal Government, this includes elected officials are held responsible. This will never stop and corruption, waste and theft will be rampant.


  16. - A guy... - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 2:57 pm:

    They should have a liquidation sale when these places close. They’d collect more money, they’d be rid of the excess junk, and a responsible vendor would actually provide an inventory of everything kept, sold or scrapped. Have you seen the crew that does this work? Quite a picture.


  17. - Precinct Captain - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 3:49 pm:

    ==This is one of the things that drove me away from the Democratic Party.==

    A totally irrelevant, narcissistic, self-interested story. Classic AZ Bob.

    ==Lets hear one more time how all the waste and corruption are gone.==

    Strawman.

    ==I have been through the closure and relocation of a state facility. It is a nightmare and the folks being moved out/ laid off are not very helpful==

    Why should those being kicked to the curb be helpful? If the state were “run like a business,” these workers wouldn’t be expected to clean up anything but their desk and they’d be out fast and there would be a cleanup crew afterwards tossing things in the trash.


  18. - jitty winkeler - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 3:49 pm:

    This is just another example of DHS not caring about the residents…..have they ever heard of HIPAA……these are real live human beings, and they do not respect their privacy. Just typical of DHS.


  19. - Lady Piglet - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 5:44 pm:

    There should be accountability for this up the chain in DHS but we all know that won’t happen. It’s not like they had no experience closing centers before this. This was no oversight. It was sloppy just like the closures.


  20. - transplant - Friday, May 30, 14 @ 6:12 pm:

    That they found personal photos of residents in the trash at Jacksonville gives credence to the stories of residents being hastily moved out of the facility as it neared its closure date.
    These are not the signs of thoughtful, organized transfers. These are the signs of people grabbing what they can before the sheriff shows up to lock the doors.


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