The News-Press: Scott record mixed toward open access

EDITORIAL

Florida Gov. Rick Scott sends mixed messages about his commitment to open government.

On the one hand, the governor has signed executive orders advancing, or vetoed bills limiting, the public’s access to state documents.

On the other hand, Scott continues to insist on a paywall for members of the public who request these documents — creating an unnecessary and potentially expensive barrier that might as well prevent a person from having any access at all.

Read more here.

1 comment to The News-Press: Scott record mixed toward open access

  • Cathy

    Armed with new knowledge, and having to take a trip to the DOH in Palm Beach County Florida with an emergancy infection, I was handed a pretesting bill for simple bloodwork over over $200.00 in order to take the test. At first I had been told, that there were ‘new policies in place’ that would not permit access in accordance with Federal Guidelines and would have to wait for a scheduled appointment. Knowing the law, I challenged this as not true and was allowed in. In the County the DOH Director is also the Board Member of the Health Care District, dictating actions of that enitity as well and obtaining fundings recently for DOH out of County Fundings to the tune of 1 million dollars, resulting in double taxation of citizens in our County. I have and can prove corruption of the industry under this program and HCD just by legal papers they alone have filed in regards to myself. However, the infection was serious. Under the policy of Florida, a Citizen has a 30 day grace billing of no charges and at the time I was even exempt from charges. I was given a hand written estimate by the Supervisor, and of course found myself unable to fork out almost @250.00 for the blood work. I kept the estimate and turned it into the DOH. The Local DOH then contacted me stating, they were ordered to do auditing as it suggested the program was milking clients of money and they were not sure they had records of the collections. I locked in the calls, took names and made further inquires. I then later contacted the Surgeon General’s office, to file a FOIA to obtain the notes, actions and reports on file concerning the illegal overbilling of clients. What the DOH chose to do, thinking I would not go forward were to send me files,(NOT of DOH but of the Health Care District) of doctors who have a history of lawsuits for the death of clients, suggesting I was ‘deranged’ for reporting thier actions as I encountered them, fluffed up clearly by the DOH, which they claimed they were being circulated around the state to prevent investigations. (considering we have a 2% or less regulatoin of Florida Doctors who engage in unethical and dangerous behavior, questionable doctors paid under such fraud are not hard to find in this State, particually if they are collecting tax dollars yet providing no real service, which empowers the HCD and the DOH greatly) The attorney for DOH Open Office, Renee Alsobrook, wrote she had fullfilled the reqeust of the files and responses connected to my name, by sending files not even a part of DOH, but of another County Distric. They had no records she claimed of my filed complaints though I faxed over copies of the illegal billing. Clearly, I had registerd, clearly there were files over the complaint and the secretary to the Surgeon General, who informed me on contact, that she had no idea how to contact the Local Board, Was caught immediately after, racing to contact the Director of DOH in our County to by evidence it appears, warn them I was asking for the files. While she was talking to them, an administration staff said, I was calling at the same time, the staffer unaware of what I had just been told. I confronted in email Ms. Alsobrook, that if she thought I would not share what she had compiled to black list me in the state on circulated files, she was wrong, and immediately responded with a legal background of events and clearly illegal acts of the doctors who assisted her under contract to gain income from Tax Dollars. Ms. Alsobrook wrote a series of emails when I noted she had violated the law in which I stated:
    “Now I requested the files being distributed by the DOH office of Palm Beach County, concerning the illegal over billing of clients of which I have the written proof this occurred, as it pertained to 3/22/11. And the subsequent ‘investigations’ that have been circulated around the state concerning that event.”
    In Return email Ms. Alsobrook writes: “Ms. XXXXXX: I am very confused by this email. Every one at the Department of Health takes very seriously the provisions of law related to public records as well as the Governor’s directives.

    Please state exactly what record you believe we have and I will search for the record. Again, I very much want to provide all records responsive to your requests but I am having much difficulty understanding what we have not provided.”
    I would tell Ms. Alsobrook to look down in the copied email where it clearly stated what I had requested, again the responses were she had sent what I had requested and that perhaps it was the HCD whom I requested the files from who would have the information. I reminded her I had in no manner requested files from HCD which she sent instead of DOH files. Each letter from Ms. AlsoBrook was one of ‘confusion’, in order to not comply. For a high paid State Attorney who actually I was to find out, worked in another sector of the DOH not related to FOIA, she remained extremely ‘confused’ and has yet to release the files I requested. She was only one of several who have refused to release files under the FOIA. I have kept all records of transactions. I have yet to gain the files requested after many months of demands and contacts.

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