In April 2020, the Tennessee Department of Human Resources contracted with McKinsey & Company to provide consulting services regarding Tennessee’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. McKinsey then submitted a report to Tennessee providing McKinsey’s government efficiency assessment and review regarding Tennessee’s COVID-19 response. Thomas Wesley, a Tennessee citizen, submitted a request under the Tennessee Public Records Act for a copy of the McKinsey report. The agency denied the request the next day, asserting the deliberative process privilege and an exception for information regarding “operational vulnerabilities” under the Tennessee Public Records Act.
Public Citizen represents Mr. Wesley in a lawsuit challenging the denial of his request for a copy of the McKinsey report. After we filed our legal memorandum explaining why the report should be disclosed, the Court scheduled a hearing ordering the State to show cause why the report should not be disclosed. In response, the State released the report, resolving the case.