"The report was embargoed by the administration (as I was told) because they wanted to look at a few things more closely before releasing," Perdue said in an email to the Gazette-Mail. "It's my opinion that it was a lot of information to be released the last week of a session wherein several important pieces of legislation were in play and needful of no distractions."
Tomblin's spokeswoman, Amy Shuler Goodwin, said the department would take its time reviewing the audit.
"Because of the immediate demands of the legislative session and the lack of legislative action needed to implement the recommendations in the report, we will dedicate the time necessary to thoroughly review these important recommendations," Shuler said in response to a question regarding the timing of the report's release.
Auditors also found that the DHHR could increase revenue by $10 million by improving the way it applies for grants.
"There is uncertainty, confusion and inconsistency in identifying, applying for and managing grants in DHHR bureaus," the audit states.
Public Works recommended that the governor establish an Office of Health Care Improvement, a Clinical Advisory Council and a Payment Advisory Council.
The Office of Health Care Improvement would include the Governor's Office of Health Enhancement and Lifestyle Planning and the West Virginia Health Care Authority.
The auditors also recommended there be two deputy secretaries of health. One deputy secretary would oversee the Bureau for Medical Services, the Bureau of Behavioral Health and Health Facilities, the Bureau for Public Health and the Bureau for Senior Services. Another deputy secretary would oversee the Bureau for Child Support and the Bureau for Children and Families.
Perdue, who along with Sen. Ron Stollings chairs the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources, said he and Stollings, D-Boone, had resolved to study the workings of the DHHR during legislative interim meetings. They will use the audit as a roadmap, he said.
Stollings said there is at least some talk of breaking up the DHHR.
"I think everything's on the table," Stollings said. "We'll see how it goes over the interim process. Delegate Perdue and I stand ready to help however we can."
The audit gives a complete, comprehensive view of the DHHR, Perdue said.
"If it is to be as effective as it can be in achieving the larger strategic vision it shares, a true commitment to putting it into play must occur," Perdue wrote in an email to the Gazette-Mail. "Otherwise, we will continue to watch an unfolding train wreck that could have been avoided by better track maintenance."
Kate Long contributed to this report.
Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.