Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Secret About Transparency

I received a forwarded email the other day regarding a website that the Department of Human Services has set up. It contains the names of individuals and agencies who have had substantiated complaint findings in nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, residential care facilities, and adult foster homesthat serve seniors & people with physical disabilities. The email originally was sent out by Mary Gear who is the Administrator, Office of Licensing and Quality Care, SPD DHS.

The document starts out by saying; “SPD has a long history of transparency and is a strong supporter of consumer information. I am pleased to announce that we have added to this history” A history of what?? Seniors and people with Disabilities is, and has been run in secrecy for a long time now. My personal experience with the clandestine way this organization operates goes back to 2003. That’s when I asked James Toewes (head of SPD)about the savings the state had seen by setting up brokerages for providing services to adults with developmental disabilities.

He was so reluctant and unwilling to tell me that a Senator had to intervene on my behalf months after I first asked. He didn’t want to fess up to the 29 million dollars saved. Of course this money was secretly shifted to other programs in the budget, but hey; that doesn’t count as non transparent, right?

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