For those following the slow-motion implementation of TIERS, Texas' new social services enrollment system, yesterday was another step forward - although not a wholly positive one, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Since its introduction, 217,000 hungry Texans in need of food stamps have been transferred to TIERS, whose privatized, high technology was supposed to make life easier for everyone.
Last winter, however, half of new food stamps cases in the system were not resolved in the federally mandated 30 days, stranding hundreds of hungry families without food around the holidays and putting HHSC on the wrong side of the law.
Yesterday, after state lawmakers demanded accountability from the system before approving an expansion, HHSC released a set of nine measures designed to improve TIERS' performance. Not on the list? Timeliness.
"The test is whether you're processing cases in a timely way, and that's not in here," said food policy expert Celia Hagert of the Center for Public Policy Priorities.
Timeliness is a key aspect to fighting hunger. What would you do if your local firemen only showed up in time to fight half the fires?