INDIANAPOLIS – Did last week’s report on the faulty ISTEP review ring any bells? It should. Memories of the worst public relations flubs of 2015 –JustIN news service – should come to mind. Perhaps Pence scrapped the JustIN news service publicly, but it appears as though privately, it still exists within in his administration.
Audits to the BMV and the Department of Child Services revealed that the agencies were not operating in the best interest of Hoosiers. Did Pence fear more bad results from an independent audit? It certainly looks that way. Why else would he have intervened in the review of ISTEP and manipulate the numbers?
Obviously, the Pence Administration still believes they are entitled to putting out its own version of news. However, there was a reason JustIN failed right out of the gate. It looks like everyone understood that reason except for Pence. Hoosiers deserve independent answers to the ISTEP review and full transparency from Mike Pence and all of his staff.
BACKGROUND INFO: Successful Independent Reviews of Other State Agencies
Pence Authorized Indiana Bureau Of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Don Snemis To Hire An Independent Consulting Firm To Audit The BMV’s Processes, Procedures And STARS System After The Organization Determined That Some Customers Overpaid Excise Taxes And Were Due Refunds. “About 180,000 Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles customers may be entitled to excise tax refunds due to their vehicles being improperly classified during registration, officials announced today. The refund could cost the state as much at $29 million. BMV Commissioner Don Snemis said that the organization has determined that some customers overpaid excise taxes when registering their vehicles, and the BMV will work with the Indiana Department of Revenue to issue those refunds… Gov. Mike Pence has also authorized Snemis to hire an independent consulting firm to audit the BMV’s processes, procedures and STARS system.” [Indy Star, 9/16/14]
Pence On His Call For Increased Funding To The Indiana Department Of Child Services: “We Want To Make Sure, Not Only That We’re Meeting Our Statutory Obligations In Terms Of The Standards That Have Been Set, But We Just Simply Want To Do Right By Our Kids.” “An independent study by Deloitte Consulting was what spurred the Governor’s announcement for increased funding. The report provided a laundry list of additional recommendations aiming to improve the department’s efficiency, including the hiring of new case workers to alleviate some of the existing load… ‘We want to make sure, not only that we’re meeting our statutory obligations in terms of the standards that have been set, but we just simply want to do right by our kids,’ said Pence.” [Fox59, 3/18/15]