Business as usual at EOHHS not an acceptable way to govern

Should Gov. Gina M. Raimondo have known about the malfeasance of an attorney in the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, one that might cost the state tens of millions of dollars?

If one is a politician running against the governor in this year’s election, there is no question that she should have known what every lawyer in every department is up to at all times.

But in a more rational atmosphere than a political campaign, it might not be realistic to presume that the governor of the state should command that level of granular detail so far deep into the daily dealings of one of her departments.

It is not unreasonable, however, to say that the head of the EOHHS should have had a better handle on what is going on with the important matters facing the agency, matters that include the potential to cost the state up to $24 million if a timely appeal to a Superior Court ruling is not made (and the appeal is lost). Which brings us back to the issue of what a chief executive should know.

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As governor, Ms. Raimondo should create an atmosphere in which the details matter, especially because they have to do with taxpayer money. Exhibit A for the details not being taken care of is UHIP.

That HHS Secretary Eric J. Beane was not aware of the deadline for such an important appeal, or that the case was still pending, speaks to how tight the ship of state is that Gov. Raimondo is running.

It’s never too late to improve the approach to governing. But it shouldn’t require such a rude awakening to bring about the changes necessary to effect the change.