When, under the wise guidance of...er...Don Wesley during his tenure as Chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee in the Unicameral, the departments of Health, Aging, Social Services, Juvenile Services and Public Institutions were all rolled up into the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), many questioned whether such a huge organization could really deal with problems. The mega-agency would be more interested, went the cant, in its own survival and protection than in dealing with the problems of its clients and employees.
We see another example of this in the ongoing lawsuit against HHS for ignoring the many charges of sexual assault at the Lincoln Regional Center -- mostly against one staff member. This isn't the first time a regional center has had this problem, and that HHS was supposed to fix the problem.
Speaking from over thirty years of dealing with bureacracies, both federal and state, I can tell you that a bureacracy is like every other organism. Its primary function is its own survival, and it immediately builds its internal defenses to protect itself. The large it is, the stronger and more entrenched those defenses are.
HHS is a prime example, and nowhere does it show more clearly than in its management of the Regional Centers. Some time ago, you will recall, a counsellor at the LRC was removed for having sexual relations with an inmate. It took for bloody ever for HHS to react to these allegations. Why? At best, because HHS is huge and ungainly. At worst, because it didn't want to look bad. Either way, it reveals an organzation that is incapable of moving. And an organization that can't move cannot serve it's clientele.
This should not be interpreted by my colleagues that I am against government serving those in need. As a liberal, I believe in less government intrusion. That means if I am going to aid my bretheren through the means of the government it should be done at as small a level, and as locally as possible. A gargantuan organization like HHS which can't even stay in touch with a site five miles from the State Office Building is not the way to do it.
By the way, Don, I don't blame you.