Audit Exposes Problems At The Department Of Intellectual And Developmental Disabilities

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities must remedy serious problems in its service recipient safety practices, service delivery system, and information system implementation efforts, according to a report released Tuesday by the Comptroller’s office.

The department provides services directly to recipients or indirectly through contracts with community providers in a variety of settings, ranging from institutional care to individual supported living in the community.  DIDD was serving 8,096 individuals as of May 31 of this year.

Among other findings, state auditors reported that:

· DIDD’s former deputy commissioner of the Office of Policy and Innovation improperly assumed authority to overturn two substantiated allegations of misconduct against provider employees and therefore did not intend to hold the provider accountable for service recipient deaths;

· The department did not establish appropriate safeguards to govern the background checks of DIDD employees, volunteers, or provider employees. That deficiency resulted in employees beginning work before background checks were completed, volunteers who had no background checks performed, and provider employees with disqualifying drug convictions that went undetected;

· DIDD was not providing adequate services for individuals with developmental disabilities in violation of statutory requirements and its own mission statement;

· Until top state officials find a sufficient funding solution, the high number of individuals with intellectual disabilities on the waiting list for Medicaid services will continue to plague the department; and

· Since 1994, DIDD has spent at least $4.3 million to replace its outdated information system with little to show for the expense. DIDD has estimated that it will spend another $11.8 million to complete the project.

“DIDD serves some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson.  “Therefore, the department must do its utmost to ensure the safety of each individual served and to enhance the quality of life of all Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Auditors will present their findings at a meeting of the General Assembly’s Government Operations Joint Subcommittee on Education, Health and General Welfare on Oct. 23.  The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. in Hearing Room 16 at Legislative Plaza in downtown Nashville. 

To view the DIDD report online, go to: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/repository/SA/pa13043.pdf



GigCity Press Has Grand Opening Tuesday

GigCity Press is celebrating the grand opening of their custom printed T-shirt and apparel business on Tuesday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at their headquarters at 6901 Lee Hwy. They will be giving away hundreds of T-shirts along with free pizza and a new 55” 4K LCD TV. GigCity Press is a locally owned and operated division of WTSmedia.  They custom print shirts in 24 hours, ... (click for more)

E|SPACES Tees Up Former Pro Golfer To Drive Sales In Chattanooga

E|SPACES, an innovative office and meeting space concept opening June 1 in Chattanooga, announces former pro golfer Derek Rende as vice president of sales. Mr. Rende will be responsible for connecting area businesses with the service, amenities and space available at E|SPACES. “In launching a new E|SPACES facility, we needed the right location and the right team,” said Jon ... (click for more)

Whitfield Hits Lawsuit Filed By Preservation Group Over Rumors Of Chicken Plant

Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield hit a lawsuit brought by a preservation group over a rumored chicken plant, saying the lawsuit will be very costly for the cash-strapped county and the group is using a smear campaign. The McLemore Cove Preservation Society filed suit seeking to force county officials to provide information on the rumored plant. Commissioner Whitfield ... (click for more)

Motorcyclist Killed After Colliding With Car On Highway 60

A motorcyclist was killed on Highway 60 on Thursday afternoon after colliding with a car.   At approximately  4:30 p.m. , Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to the 5100 block of Highway 60 for the report of a  motor vehicle accident involving a motorcycle vs. car.  According to preliminary reports, the motorcycle ... (click for more)

Speaking Of A Cove

Mr. Sole Commissioner Whitfield,   I live in  a cove in western most Chattanooga. My back yard is woods. My front yard is woodland too. My neighbors and I had chance to voice our disagreement in 1996 to the proposed sale of a portion of the farm that dominated this cove and we did. There weren’t very many of us. One member of the group that listened to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Don’t Invent, Discover!’

When Randy Boyd stood in front of more than 75 black ministers in Memphis on Tuesday, the ever-dynamic “doer of deeds” told the pastors an exciting story. He talked about “First Things First” of Chattanooga because the Tennessee gubernatorial candidate is totally sold on what Julie Baumgardner and her team have proven keeps families together. Boyd then met with some representatives ... (click for more)