The Oklahoma State Department of Health has submitted a 40-page action plan to correct issues which created a major budget shortfall.
Passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, House Bill 1028X mandates the submission of a detailed plan identifying problems leading to a $30 million supplemental appropriation necessary for OSDH to meet its payroll obligations. The plan also outlines steps already taken and proposed additional steps to prevent future financial missteps by the agency.
Fundamental to the corrective plan are changes in OSDH’s structure that include checks and balances in financial reporting to prevent misuse of state and federally appropriated money. Proposals also include an overhaul of the agency’s organizational chart, creating a Chief Medical Officer position and ensuring the Chief Financial Officer reports directly to the Commissioner.
“It is critical that OSDH return to its core service functions of protecting the health of Oklahoma’s citizens, while operating in a fiscally responsible manner,” said Interim OSDH Commissioner Preston Doerflinger. ”It is imperative leadership positions are filled with people qualified to manage the agency’s business operation, as well as respected and qualified leaders in the delivery of health services. This plan provides a path to meet these goals.”
OSDH’s Financial Reporting will now conform to the standards of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). GASB establishes accounting and financial reporting standards for federal, state and local government in alignment with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Using widely accepted external standards and best practices, OSDH will develop financial processes resulting in accurate reporting of its financial position, transparency of funding needs and timeliness of financial management practices.
In addition, Governor Fallin issued an executive order establishing the Joint Commission on Public Health to develop a plan of excellence and provide guidance to OSDH’s proposed FY2019 OSDH budget. The first meeting of the Joint Commission is scheduled for Friday, January 5.
“I look forward to working with the Joint Commission, the Legislature, our senior leadership and staff at OSDH, creating a path to restoring public confidence in our agency, while providing readily accessible health services for the people of Oklahoma,” Doerflinger said. “Together, we can and will make this happen.”
To see the entire OSDH Corrective Action Plan, go to www.ok.gov/health.
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