Yeah, that's the answer
Burned by a whistle-blower, the agency issues a policy criticized by some legislators. By Deborah Sherman
After a state whistle-blower secretly taped her co-workers trying to cover up $8 million owed to the federal government, the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) has issued a new policy that forbids using hidden recording devices in its offices.
"I think they got burned once, they're not going to get burned twice — and I think the public is going to suffer," said Rep. Frank McNulty, R-Doug las County. "In this case, I don't think we should be enabling state employees to keep information from the public. Particularly information related to waste, fraud and abuse."
The executive director of HCPF, Joan Henneberry, issued the policy, which affects 250 employees in the HCPF building on Grant Street. The policy's stated purpose is to "insure the safety, privacy and integrity of all persons within the department by prohibiting the unannounced or unauthorized use of recording devices."
"We're just saying you need to tell people that they're being recorded," said Henneberry. "People have a right to know if someone is recording a meeting. We think it's ethical and the right thing to do."
Colorado law does not require the notification of a party when they are being recorded.
The policy took effect earlier this month, just days after whistle-blower Annmarie Maynard, a former accountant, won her State Personnel Board case against HCPF.
The board found HCPF wrongly harassed, demoted and fired Maynard after she discovered accounting errors within HCPF that left the state owing Medicaid and/or the Children's Basic Health Plan Plus millions of dollars.
The board also said Henneberry and Deputy Director Jennifer Evans violated the Whistleblower Act.
On April 24, Maynard secretly recorded her co-workers talking about what was owed to the government. During the meeting, Maynard was asked to separate her computer files in order to make it more difficult for federal auditors to learn about the mischarges. She refused to make the changes.
HCPF fired Maynard days after she gave a copy of the taped meeting to 9Wants to Know and went public about the mistakes in the agency.
----Much more in the original article at The Denver Post