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Welfare Contract

June 14, 1998

"Cost of Welfare Compliance Put at $1.6 Million" (June 5) mentioned a contract awarded by L.A. County in the late 1980s to privatize a portion of its welfare services. Your article states the contract with Maximus was "widely held to be a failure." Nothing could be further from the truth.

During our five years of operation, Maximus faithfully served the county and its welfare population. In a 1993 letter, Eddy S. Tanaka, previous director of the Department of Public Social Services, expressed his "sincere appreciation for the excellent job Maximus has done in providing case management for the Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN) program in Los Angeles County." Furthermore, the state auditor general reported that Maximus saved the county nearly $2.3 million per year, a reduction to taxpayers of 15%. The current privatization of CalWorks throughout California had its inception in the Los Angeles project.

RUSSELL BELIVEAU, President, Government Operations Group, Maximus, McLean, Va.

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