Tuesday, December 15, 2009

State Government Fiefdoms

Over the years, businesses have learned that fiefdoms, AKA "silos", are bad for business.

A fiefdom is typically an informational black-hole. A functional group keeps information to itself, and other parts of the business mis-calculate or mis-judge because they lack the information.

Fiefdoms are part of the problems encountered by the State of Wisconsin. It was clearly evident in the Department of Corrections/Attorney General brouhaha of a few months ago, where DoC did not know (or did not act on) collection of DNA from its inmates--whose records were in the hands of the Attorney General (or local subordinates). Another way to look at it is that the AG (and subordinates) did not forward their information to DoC.

It arises again.

Child-care providers are seldom criminally charged for involvement in drug crimes. Search warrants aimed at drug dealers often make no mention that the dealer's wife or live-in girlfriend is a child-care provider - even when the day care is the site of the search.

And nobody - not regulators nor law enforcement officials - tracks the overlap.

Yet, cops and prosecutors say they see links between day care providers and drug dealers all the time.

"Probably in 25% of the cases I deal with, there is a wife or girlfriend in the day care business," said Mario Gonzales, a veteran gang and drug prosecutor with the U.S. attorney's office.

Regulators, too, see the connections. State records show parents and employees commonly file drug-related complaints about child-care centers. But inspectors rarely substantiate the allegations.

Officials from the Department of Children and Families said Friday they were unaware of the specific drug ties until questioned last week by the Journal Sentinel. On Friday, they revoked the licenses of two of the providers and launched investigations into others.

Fiefdoms are bad for business, and bad for the State.

1 comment:

John Foust said...

When you privatize a government service, is it a fiefdom?