Despite more troubles for the Accenture Corporation in Texas, the Athens location continues its normal operations.

Texas Health and Human Services (THHS) Commission-er Albert Hawkins announced Thursday the state is scaling back the role of Accenture in the social services eligibility system, and cutting its contract with the company from $899 million to $543 million.

Efforts to reach Accenture officials for comment were unsuccessful.

Athens Economic Develop-ment Corporation Executive Director Herbert Gatlin said his most recent information from the company is the changes should not adversely affect the local office.

“As far as we know it should have little affect here,” Gatlin said. “They have about 135 workers out there now. We check with them quite often, and as far is we know it shouldn’t hurt the local operation.”

According to THHS, the state contract with Accenture called for the company to — among other things — operate a computer system that would let people apply for services such as Medicaid, food stamps, and temporary assistance by telephone, on the Internet, or in person.

The state now plans to operate its own computer system beginning next year. About 900 state employees will be operating the system. An Austin-based Accenture spokesman, James McAvoy, told the Associated Press he agreed with the state’s decision to rebalance the roles between the state and the company.

Accenture opened the Athens call center June 26 in the long-vacant K-Mart location. At that time problems were already surfacing at other Texas locations, prompting the Texas State Employees Union to call for termination of the contract with the company.

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e-mail rflowers@athensreview.com

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