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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.

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.

 

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