USA Dot Com is a blog covering politics and government from a conservative Christian perspective. Verne Strickland is a 50-year veteran of investigative journalism. This blog offers a take-no-prisoners style with a modicum of biting satire. Verne and his wife of 55 years, Durrene, live in Wilmington, NC.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Congressional Committee asks Perdue to explain release of embargoed data
By RICK HENDERSON/MANAGING EDITOR
Carolina Journal January 3, 2012
RALEIGH — The U. S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce has requested that Gov. Bev Perdue provide information spelling out how she was able in August to release North Carolina employment data that was supposed to be protected by an embargo.
In a letter sent to Perdue Dec. 21, Committee Chairman Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., cited a Carolina Journal Online story published Dec. 19 reporting that Perdue, in a speech, publicly discussed information from the state’s monthly employment report before its scheduled release.
The letter also stated that emails between the state’s Employment Security Commission (now the Division of Employment Security) and Perdue’s office showed information was shared that may not have been authorized by the cooperative agreement between the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and each state that is meant to protect the unauthorized release of protected employment data.
A CJ Online story published Monday reported BLS had concluded that Perdue’s August remarks before the Rotary Club of Asheville violated the cooperative agreement with BLS. At the time, state ESC Labor Market Information Division director Betty McGrath reported the violation to the BLS regional office in Atlanta, and BLS Regional Director Janet Rankin followed up with interviews of ESC officials. Rankin would not say if any further action was taken.
The committee gave Perdue until Wednesday to produce copies of the state’s cooperative agreement with BLS; CJ requested that and other related information last week and was told the request was being reviewed by DES lawyers.
In addition, Kline’s letter asks the governor to produce a series of documents and communications, including those:
• “related to the protocols your office and [the N.C. Employment Security Commission] have put in place to protect against the unauthorized dissemination” of employment data;
• “relating to the potential unauthorized released of BLS data;”
• between the governor’s office and ESC relating to unemployment data, and;
• between ESC and the U.S. Department of Labor related to unemployment data.