Full Colorado Journalist Recordsdata Courtroom Petition In opposition to Division of Well being Care Coverage and Financing for Withholding Open Information Request Paperwork
HCPF Did not Produce A whole bunch of Related Paperwork, Petition Claims
DENVER, June 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Sherrie Peifan award successful investigative journalist with Full Colorado, at this time requested the Denver District Courtroom to order the Colorado Division of Well being Care Coverage and Financing (“HCPF”) to indicate trigger for the division’s failure to conform along with her public information request.
The Colorado Open Information Act (“CORA”) requires most public information – together with writings made, maintained, or saved by authorities companies – be out there to the general public. Whereas there are some exceptions, Ms. Peif’s petition alleges that HCPF’s response was inadequate.
Regardless of repeated efforts to acquire the requested paperwork, Full Colorado believes HCPF wrongfully withheld paperwork attentive to the request and did not adjust to sure provisions of the act.
“We hope this case shines a lightweight on the necessity for extra transparency in any respect ranges of the Colorado state authorities and gives the residents of Colorado higher entry to public data,” stated Full Colorado editor Mike Krause.
Ms. Peif’s petition highlights the next:
- Reporter Sherrie Peif despatched a request for data pursuant to CORA to HCPF on March 7, 2023in search of particular paperwork associated to numerous phrases and staff on the division.
- HCPF’s CORA officer, Kathy Snowinitially estimated there have been almost 2,000 information throughout the search parameters, however later revised the estimate to 1,550 information probably attentive to the request.
- On April 13, 2023HCPF produced solely 318 paperwork. An affidavit that Peif obtained from Snow cited attorney-client privilege and/or deliberative course of privilege for the quite a few paperwork withheld, leaving a big hole between the amount of paperwork HCPF estimated it will produce and people it really produced.
- On Might 15, 2023counsels for each events conferred by way of video convention.
- On June 9, 2023the Colorado State Lawyer’s Common workplace supplied a subsequent, amended response to the request, producing simply six further paperwork, bringing the full produced paperwork to 324.
276 of the paperwork listed within the amended Vaughn Index had been claimed beneath deliberative course of privilege, which Full Colorado states in its petition is “overbroad.”
The ultimate complete of paperwork accounted for was 596, falling effectively wanting HCPF’s authentic estimates of 1,550+.
Ms. Peif’s petition comes after paying $2500 to satisfy its preliminary CORA request to HCPF.
“Public information requests beneath CORA are already typically unaffordable for information organizations and most of the people, and it’s unlucky that Full Colorado has been pressured to show to the courts with the intention to pursue transparency at HCPF,” Krause stated.
The petition was filed within the Denver District Courtroom beneath case quantity 2023-CV-031854. Full Colorado is represented by John S. Zakhem and Andrew C. Nickel of Jackson KellyPLLC.
About Full Colorado
Full Colorado is a digital journalism web site centered on investigative reporting and often covers issues of public concern throughout the state. To view the complete petition filed and study extra in regards to the particulars of this case, please learn Sherrie Peif’s reporting on the matter here.
Electronic mail: (email protected)
Andrew C. Nickel
SOURCE Full Colorado LLC
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