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New State Guidelines Seek To End “Revolving Door” For State Workers

Beth Wood
NC Auditor's Office

State lawmakers say they want to craft guidelines for state employees who oversee big contracts with private companies, but then leave to work for those institutions.

Back in the fall, lawmakers discovered that an IT manager with the Department of Health and Human Services who was overseeing the state’s troubled Medicaid reimbursement system left to work for that same company.

State Auditor Beth Wood told members of a legislative committee Wednesday that she’d like to see new guidelines. She thinks there should be a mandatory cooling-off period for state employees who decide to leave their jobs.

"At least six months," says Wood. "That’s what the state has in place now for the legislators who leave the General Assembly and go to work as lobbyists, for instance. It’s what the state of North Carolina has in place if you are an employee and you retire and you leave the state you can’t come back for six months and work for the state under contract."

Wood says her office will survey other states to find out how they handle similar issues with former employees.

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.
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