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Tue September 17, 2013
New Mexico Group Files Lawsuit For Release Of Audit
Albuquerque, New Mexico - The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government ("FOG") has filed a lawsuit seeking release of the Behavioral Health Audit report which the state Human Services Department ("HSD") relied upon in halting Medicaid payments to health care providers in New Mexico. The lawsuit, filed under the state Inspection of Public Records Act, asks the state district court in Santa Fe to require records custodians from the office of the Attorney General and HSD to produce unredacted copies of the audit report or to produce information sufficient to justify their redactions. Both the Attorney General and HSD have previously refused FOG's request for the report, providing only a heavily redacted version.
"The audit report was significant enough to cause HSD to suspend Medicaid payments to 15 behavioral health providers in New Mexico," said Gregory P. Williams, an officer of FOG. "The report is too important to the citizens of New Mexico to be kept from public view, and in our view New Mexico law does not permit it to be withheld. If it is protected as a law enforcement record, the burden is on the Attorney General to show how its release would jeopardize the investigation."