Lake said the agency's needs could require another $175 million, which isn't feasible at this time, so DHS' immediate budget priorities include increasing staff numbers to reduce workers' caseloads and boosting provider rates.
“We can't PR ourselves to a better image. We have to perform ourselves there,” Lake said. “And that is a process that isn't going to happen in six or seven months by any stretch of the imagination.”
Fixing an agency as large and troubled as DHS won't occur overnight, but Lake seems to be taking the crucial first steps necessary for improvement: admitting problems exist, seriously and transparently assessing them, and refusing to back away from the mandate for change at an agency that historically has tended toward bureaucratic calcification rather than innovation.