Texas Debuts TIES Model

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Department of Human Services will present at a public hearing on Sept. 3 a revised model for the Texas Integrated Enrollment and Services (TIES) project.

Integrator Electronic Data Services Corp., Plano, Texas, has worked with the TIES team to re-engineer processes in advance of the state's selection of a contractor to build the TIES system. Texas law mandates that public hearings must take place before any additional TIES contracting occurs.

TIES ultimately will integrate virtually all Texas human services programs, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, food stamp benefits, HIV and other medical services as well as the state's employment services. The revised version of the TIES plan (available at www.hhsc.texas.gov/ties97/whatsnew.htm) refers to four goals of the program: improved client access to quality services; long-term savings and discouragement of dependence on government; promotion of personal responsibility and welfare to work; and improved standards for eligibility determination and service delivery.

Texas wants to award a contract next spring to bring on a vendor to automate services based on those principles. In its first incarnation, TIES was a $2 billion systems re-engineering effort that attracted

interest from the industry's largest integrators, including EDS, Lockheed Martin Corp., IBM Corp. and Unisys Corp. That first effort was axed by the Clinton White House. EDS then took itself out of the running, instead locking in a deal to assist the state with integration plans and to help devise the replacement RFP. The upcoming TIES deal still carries a hefty price.

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