Officials with MNsure, Minnesota's new online health insurance marketplace, have lost their bid to temporarily keep their marketing and public outreach materials secret.
MNsure wanted to keep the materials secret until it released them as part of its public education campaign for the marketplace.
Spencer Cronk, commissioner of the state Department of Administration, denied the request. He said that while MNsure raised general concerns about the early release of information, the agency failed to provide any specific examples or details that justified a veil of secrecy.
MNsure's application to the department asked that various aspects of MNsure's public marketing and outreach campaign such as slogans, colors, characters and images be kept under wraps until the campaign goes public. State law requires agencies to prove there is a "compelling need" to keep information out of public view.
MNsure's attorney, Mike Turpin, said recently that the agency's officials were trying to prevent fraud by other groups using MNsure's brand to put out information that might be inaccurate.
Last Sunday, with its request for secrecy still pending, MNsure unveiled its State Fair marketing campaign.
Cronk said MNsure provided him with redacted copy of its State Fair concept marketing document but did not prove that revealing it early would adversely affect the public's health, safety or welfare.
A spokesman for MNsure said the agency has yet to decide whether to appeal.
Read the commissioner's report here.