A Nice Look at the Secrecy Epidemic In California…

A former student, Brian Joseph, with a nice look at secrecy in California:

Critics of California’s in-home supportive services program believe there may be scores of people like Joowan Kim.

In February, Kim pled guilty to fraud and is serving three years probation for cheating the program out of $33,345. For nearly two years, Kim claimed to be caring for her developmentally-disabled son in Cypress when in truth he was living at a facility in Buena Park.

Many believe in-home supportive services, which permits family members to become the paid, in-home caregivers of sick and elderly relatives, is rife with this sort of abuse. But the public may never know if it’s really a problem because all caregiver records are secret under state law. Independent review is impossible. Fraud, potentially, is concealed.

This is how it is in the Golden State. Secrecy has seeped into every corner of state government, making it difficult to gauge Sacramento’s effectiveness and discretion. An Orange County Register review of the Government Code found at least 500 provisions that exempt specific records or information from public disclosure while another 16 code sections prohibit the release of broad categories of documents, including every complaint filed with a licensing body or investigatory agency, all communications with members of the Legislature and any document whose release does not serve the public interest. Official secrets are held in every office and department in state government, from food and agriculture, public health and the DMV to corrections, social services and the Legislature, where the Assembly recently made headlines (and drew a lawsuit) over its refusal to release documents related to members’ current budgets.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: