"It was not the administration's idea," Perdue said, adding, "It was not something the administration was comfortable with."
Perdue said he is encouraged that the Public Works audit recommends merging GOHELP and the Health Care Authority into an office that would perform many of the functions originally envisioned for GOHELP.
"It was our objective to create an oversight commission for the promotion of health care around the state of West Virginia," he said.
Perdue said he supports the overall recommendations of the Public Works, particularly to divide the agency into separate Health and Human Resources divisions.
He said the current arrangement is too unwieldy and forces the DHHR secretary to micromanage daily operations of the 6,000-employee department.
"If I'm working in a factory on an assembly line, and the parts I need aren't coming down the line ... I don't go to the company CEO and ask why I didn't get the parts," he said of the current set-up of DHHR.
Stevens said he's looking forward to September legislative interim meetings, when new DHHR Secretary Karen Bowling is scheduled to tell legislators how her department plans to address and implement the audit's recommendations.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.