NC DHHS head: Transparency can be “dangerous” (Video)

Here’s video on the unusual tangent N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Aldona Wos went on earlier this week in which she called government transparency “dangerous” during a press conference about contracting out the state’s Medicaid services.

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Wos, as mentioned in the News & Observer’s Under the Dome blog yesterday, was asked by Rose Hoban of North Carolina Health News about how open the department would be if private companies were given large chunks of the state’s $13 billion Medicaid program. The department had spelled out a way for companies to declare business plan information exempt from public records requests in the Feb. 4 request for information the public agency put out asking how to change Medicaid.

“The word transparency can get pretty dangerous,” Wos said at Wednesday’s press conference.

Wos told gathered reporters that her department needed to have drafts of proposals shielded from public view while developing policies as a way of working. The state’s public records law, however, makes government documents public “regardless of physical forms and characteristics” and open to inspection “as promptly as possible” to whoever asks to see them.

She also made reference to her upbringing in Poland, and said her experience living under socialism and other forms of government made her a proponent of transparency.

 

9 Comments

  1. HunterC

    April 5, 2013 at 10:33 am

    That was some full on crazy right there.

    And she is supposed to be a “leader” in state government?

    Who hired her?

    Oh, right.

  2. wafranklin

    April 5, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Wos is a rightwing nutbag ideologue who gave a hell of a lot of money to McCrory. She is a true believer and someone who conflates socialism with a full out dictatorship. Not that she cares. I fear for public health specifically because the Republicans are vindictively and Wos is at DHHS. As for public, she has no public track record. This privatization movement, which went on in the mental health arena, has proven
    no great, or even good shakes. The care of people takes last seat, particularly with Republicans.

  3. [...] course, state law differs with the secretary’s reading. As pointed out by N.C. Policy Watch: “The state’s public records law, however, makes government documents public [...]

  4. [...] And about getting those answers, we don’t have a lot of confidence in NC DHHS Secretary Wos, who, responding to a question by a reporter about how the public will be able to track her agency doling out $13 billion in taxpayer money to private for-profit companies, at the press conference on Wednesday said this: [...]

  5. david esmay

    April 5, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    What Wos is saying is that all meetings will be what lawyers call “ex parte”, and will consist of herself, industry representatives and lobbyists, no advocates for consumers will be present. This also what lawyers refer to as “male fide”, being fraudulent or deceptive in act or belief. I’m willingly to bet that the contracts with private administrators will be written in such a way that the public will be denied access to the information. That way the can rob the taxpayers at their leisure.

  6. Alex

    April 5, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    They must be giving out legal primers with the monthly rewards now ! Somehow I missed that one !.

  7. david esmay

    April 5, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Snarky trolls miss a lot.

  8. Frances Jenkins

    April 6, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Sarah and the faithful nonthinking are following the Blueprint handbook on how to demonize the Governor. This is not what Wos was saying and you know it.
    Is it possible to name a specific policy Basnight, Perdue, Easley or Hunt developed in public? Not no but hell no you cannot.
    I am so disappointed Sarah is following the blue book of Blueprint. Sad!

  9. gregflynn

    April 7, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Senator Thomas Goolsby (R) introduced a bill, SB 125, that could make Wos guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 20 days in jail:

    SECTION 1. G.S. 132-9 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:
    “(a1) It is a Class 3 misdemeanor to deny access to public records for purposes of inspection and examination or to deny copies of public records.”