The subpoena issued by the Missouri Senate to the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR) regarding the collection and use of the personal data of Missouri citizens is due today at 4:45pm. You can see the subpoena here
Early indications are that the DOR intends to inundate the legislature with at least 20 boxes of information letting them know that there are about 30 more boxes of information available. That should concern you a lot!
It would perhaps bring some comfort to be able to say that the current DOR collection and use of our personal data scandal was an outlier in state government. It would be even more comforting to say that the record of the current administration was one of full and complete transparency when it comes to issues like this. Yes that would be comforting, but it wouldn’t be true.
Looking back over any number of issues such as the Lake of the Ozark’s e coli issue in 2009 where the Department of Natural Resources stonewalled and withheld information from the legislature and the public and other issues, it’s unfortunately all too common place. Déjà vu indeed!
Even more interesting was that during the e coli investigation, it was determined that a former Chairman of the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection committee considered and possibly issued a subpoena. The Chairman was none other than then Senator Jay Nixon. Seems in 1990, he was concerned about some missing state surplus property. You can read the subpoena developed by Senator Nixon here
The irony of today’s DOR issue and the Nixon subpoena is thick. Withholding of information and disposal of state owned property was and is at the heart of both issues.
What’s the state property link? It seems that all the “old” camera equipment being used by fee offices, much of which was actually not that “old”, is being replaced by these super cameras provided the by the contractor who is in-charge of issuing the new secure licenses. But what is happening with the “old” equipment? Good question!
The Senate appropriations chair, Senator Kurt Schaefer, contends that DOR officials have given him reason to believe the “old” equipment is property of the State of Missouri – that’s you and me. This is yet another contradiction from DOR. If Senator Schaefer’s understanding is correct, DOR has again misled lawmakers regarding the ownership this equipment!
If then Senator Nixon was so upset about missing state surplus property, Governor Nixon should be all up in arms about this issue and even more so since it is occurring on his watch! If the equipment does belong to the state, DOR has approved and executed a contract in what is yet another violation of state law regarding the disposal of state property.
The Missourinet report on this property issue can be found here. It contains two very interesting audio links that you will want to listen to as well. AUDIO: Floor discussion (6:48) and AUDIO: Schaefer, Richard, Dempsey (5:15)
The Missourinet blog also has an excellent piece on the issue here.
The fact that DOR is collecting and retaining our personal data is not in question. They absolutely are! What is in question is what they are doing with it and what else are they hiding?