The head of the Iowa Department of Human Services talked today (Tuesday) to a legislative oversight committee that’s looking into money spent on a job-training program. D-H-S funnels money to program that help the poor, including Iowa Workforce Development, which passed it on to the Central Iowa Employment and Training Consortium. That’s where CIETC is accused of spending a lot of the money for generous salaries and staff bonuses.
Department of Human Services Director Kevin Concannon told the committee his agency’s taking steps to step up oversight. Concannon says he thinks it was “an anomaly” — a serious and problematic one but, he says, not one typical of their operations.
Concannon says in his years of work, he can’t think of a case before when he’s seen directors so “greedily” availing themselves of money intended for poor people who need assistance in the workforce. Concannon says he’s asked the Attorney General’s office to see if there’s any way to recover some of the money. “They’re at least unethical, they’re certainly immoral in my judgment, what I don’t know is if they’re illegal.”
Iowa Workforce Development contracts with fifteen smaller agencies including CIETC to provide services to low-income Iowans, including job training. Concannon says when the Department of Human Services contracts with an outside agency, it places limits on administrative and salary costs and requires regular reporting of both. He says in the future he will require the same scrutiny of fellow state agencies like Iowa Workforce: Limitations on administrative costs, on salaries of top people, and a requirement that he get to see their cost reports.