A member of the Idaho House of Representatives, who is also on the board of directors for the state’s government-run health insurance exchange, said Monday she has called a “special meeting” of the board. At issue is the recent resignation of an exchange board member, and the exchange’s executive director, Amy Dowd, awarding a $375,000 contract to that same board member.
The special meeting of the Idaho insurance exchange’s board of directors is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct 22, 11 a.m., at the Hawley Troxell law offices in Boise, the legal firm representing the exchange.
“My first reaction was complete shock. I couldn’t believe what was going on,” said Rep. Kelley Packer, R-McCammon, regarding the resignation of former exchange board member Frank Chan and, in turn, Chan receiving a contract from the exchange.
“I don’t agree with what’s happened, at all. Because of that I actually emailed the entire board asking for some unification in calling a special meeting, asking our chairman (Stephen Weeg) to get us rounded up as quickly as possible so we can address this,” said Packer.
On Wednesday, Oct. 10, Dowd announced at a meeting of the board of directors that Chan and his company had been awarded the contract. “Frank and his company were chosen because of Frank’s extensive background in state-based marketplaces,” Dowd explained on that day (Chan owns and operates Applied Computing of Boise). Packer told IdahoReporter.com after the Wednesday meeting that she had no prior knowledge of the development
Monday morning, Packer stated that she is “not OK” with the selection process. She also said that she has had concerns about salaries paid to insurance exchange employees and dollar values of contracts that have been awarded by the exchange. “I have always had a problem with a lot of the salaries and contracts that have been awarded, but I also understand that we’ve been in a time crunch,” she commented. “I have aired my opinion and I have said that we’re going to need to review it down the road. Well, it’s down the road.”
According to the Associated Press, since the announcement by Dowd of the contract being awarded to Chan last week, Idaho Speaker of the House Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, and Sen. Jim Rice, R-Caldwell, have referred to the matter as “inexcusable.” Rice, like Packer, is a member of the state exchange board.
Packer said this morning that as far as she is aware, there was no open bidding process that led to the contract going to Chan, but that she is still gathering information about it.
Listen to Packer’s full comments HERE