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"My family's insurance was canceled due to the Affordable Care Act. Therefore I was forced to buy insurance using Vermont Health Connect," Toensing said. "The Democrats forced Vermonters by law to purchase insurance using their website, but failed to ensure that it functioned."
However, Information Commissioner Richard Boes testified Tuesday that someone with a Romanian Internet address used a valid user name and password to log onto a CGI computer 15 times in December and January. He assured lawmakers that the computer "was not part of providing Vermont services in any way."
Request and responseBrock, who has been filing public records requests on Vermont Health Connect since summer, said he sometimes has been dissatisfied with the speed and completeness of the state's response. intrusion by a hacker or hackers) of CGI's Phoenix data center ."
Brock said he was unaware of the RNC request until the Burlington Free Press asked him about it on Friday.
"We have talked about our various requests," Brock said, "but to the best of my knowledge, I have not seen all of his requests, and he has not seen or been involved in all of mine."
for prying, but that is what the public record law is for," Brock said, rejecting any suggestion that his requests are politically motivated. "Any time you are talking about public policy issues, and you have been a politician, someone will claim your query is 'political.'
He also made requests to bring out information about privacy incidents involving several insurance customers and a security breach at the Phoenix data center of the contractor managing Vermont Health Connect.
Toensing defends queries such as his, saying, "Democratic legislators have been unwilling to perform meaningful oversight. Even in the face of demonstrated failure, incompetence and dishonesty, they have been overly deferential and almost apologetic when questioning Commissioner Larson. "
Toensing said he has a personal stake in the operation of Vermont Health Connect.
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Just askingJoe Waclawski, associate counsel of the Republican National Committee, submitted a request Jan. 14 asking for enrollment data for the first three months of Vermont Health Connect's operation. The request also sought any documents proposing a salary increase or bonus for Mark Larson, the commissioner heading Converse Hi Tops Womens Black the roll out of Vermont Health Connect, and a record of the amount of vacation he took in 2013.
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Larson, the commissioner rolling out Vermont Health Connect, explained the delay in telling Brock that he needed to ask Boes for information on the CGI security incident. "There were other items we had to put together, which means there was more work," Larson said.
In addition to seeing the state held documents, Toensing wanted to review records about the demonstration in CGI's possession, but state officials said told him CGI wasn't a public agency, so those records would remain private.
"Access is enshrined in Vermont's constitution and the public records law," Brock argued, adding, "It doesn't matter if it is inconvenient or embarrassing to officials."
"Instead of having the public's best interest and well being in mind, they are on a political fishing expedition," Sarle said. "It is truly unfortunate that they are actively trying to undermine confidence in Vermont's health care exchange, placing their political means above the health care security of tens of thousands of Vermonters."
"Vermont law is designed to give the public broad access to government records," Toensing said. "This administration should not be allowed to shield public records from disclosure simply by hiring an outside entity to perform governmental tasks."
Brady Toensing, vice chairman of the Vermont Republican Party, submitted a request Feb. 10 for "any and all documents from July 1 to present" regarding a controversial software demonstration in July by the contractor for Vermont Health Connect, including any investigation into the authenticity of the demonstration.
In addition to Brock (the unsuccessful gubernatorial challenger in 2012 and an ongoing critic of Shumlin's plan to move the state to a government financed health insurance system), two other high profile Republicans have made public records requests: a lawyer for the Republican National Committee and the vice chairman of the Vermont Republican Party.
Sarle notes that "according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Vermont has been more successful at enrolling people through its exchange than any other state. While the rollout of the Affordable Care Act has been rocky across the country, Democrats in our state are focused on making health care reform work for all Vermonters. Vermont Republicans, on the other hand, seem eager to double down on the obstructionism of the national GOP."
public records associated with Vermont's problem plagued online health insurance marketplace. He says he's pursuing his role as watchdog of the health reform initiatives that Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin is implementing.
Brock makes no apologies for using the state's public records law to dig into the implementation of Vermont Health Connect and find answers to his many questions, such as whether the contractor kept the state in the dark about a system unready for launch, or if state officials glossed over the known shortcomings until shortly before the Oct. 1 launch.
Brock noted that he and Toensing are longtime friends and have spoken about their mutual interest in the implementation of Vermont Health Connect.
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Toensing said his request was his own and not submitted on behalf of the state Republican Party.
Health Connect records requests raise questions about partisanship
A Vermont Pubic Radio reporter aired a story about the security incident before state officials told Brock on March 11 that he would have to send his request to the commissioner of information and innovation. Speaking of his new request, Brock said, "I sent that request on March 11, and it was acknowledged by Commissioner Boes on March 12. But I still have received no documents."
Toensing's public records request, like some requests Brock also submitted, was trying to ascertain whether CGI, the website developer, faked a software demonstration because the contractor was behind in developing Vermont Health Connect systems. CGI officials have denied that assertion.
The VPR piece appeared March 10.
"There should be little doubt that the motivations behind Randy Brock, the Republican National Committee and Brady Toensing are 100 percent political," said Ben Sarle, newly named director of communications and outreach for the Vermont Democratic Party.
Still, the only written public records requests in recent months have come from Republicans.
Toensing takes issue with this denial, though he has taken no steps to try to reverse it.
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