Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Accenture apologizes for ‘outrageous’ redaction

Accenture apologizes for 'outrageous' redaction

Accenture spokesman Jim McAvoy apologized for the heavily redacted document the company's lawyers sent me earlier this month.

"I am really sorry, deeply sorry that this happened, and it shouldn't have happened," McAvoy said. "It was outrageous."

I wrote last week about how Accenture is trying to keep me from getting access to documents I requested from the Health and Human Services Commission regarding negotiations to unravel a major contract to enroll Texans in public assistance. The deal was originally worth $899 million, and the state has paid some $243 million.

The heavily blacked-out document I got from Accenture's lawyers was a legal brief the company sent Attorney General Greg Abbott explaining that the documents contain trade secrets and should remain private.

Today I got a "revised redacted copy" of the legal brief from the Accenture lawyers. This time, instead of blacking out the information they view as trade secrets, the redacted words are just blank spaces. So the revised version is a little less jarring to look at. And more importantly, there are fewer words redacted.

For example, page 6 of the brief as originally redacted was almost entirely blacked out, but in the new version of the same page, I can read about how Accenture is concerned about releasing trade secrets involving a system called the Rapid Transition Suite.

So the fact that I can read more of this brief is good news. But the brief just explains why the documents I requested should remain private. Frankly, I'm not that interested in all of Accenture's trade secrets.

What I really want is what I requested in the first place: the documents detailing Accenture's negotiations with the state of Texas. A lot of taxpayer dollars are at stake.

This post done through Yahoo! Mail. You can email me at hhscemployee@yahoo.com. Please know all emails are kept confidential, and your identity will never be disclosed.

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