Classic Case - Fraud, Abuse and Waste at HEW: Abridged

Fraud, Abuse and Waste at HEW: Abridged


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  • Product Description

    During her lunch break, Eileen Shanahan, HEW assistant secretary for public affairs, learns that the first annual report of HEW's inspector general, due to be published the next day, will claim that HEW "wastes seven billion dollars a year." The bearer of this news is Robert Wilson, public affairs manager for the inspector general's office. Worried about how the report will affect HEW, Wilson has asked the report's author, Inspector General Tom Morris, to issue an explanatory press release along with the report. Morris has refused, claiming that the report is straightforward analysis for Congress and needs no accompanying press release. The case examines the series of events leading up to the publication of the report, and ends with HEW Secretary Joseph Califano trying to decide how to handle press coverage. A hypothetical version of this case, "Fraud, Abuse and Waste" tells the same basic story, from the viewpoint of a state human services official.

    Learning Objective:
    This case may be used as a vehicle to discuss press relations. How should public managers frame an issue for the media? How should they explain the subtleties of scores of programs in the short space of a press release? When should they hold a press conference? How much blame, if any, should a manager accept? The case also illustrates the personal and institutional factors that lead to public relations problems.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: January 01, 1982
    HKS Case Number: 337.3
    Case Author: David Whitman
    Faculty Lead: Stephanie Gould and Eileen Shanahan and Mark Moore and Daniel and Florence Guggenheim
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 15
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    Funding Source: Office of Personnel Management and the Department of Commerce, Defense, Health, and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Labor
    _pages: 1-15
    _geography: US & Canada
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