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Forum editorial: No confidence in WSI board is appropriate

It's no surprise the embattled top managers at North Dakota's worker compensation agency are adopting a bunker strategy. After all, the all-but-corrupt team at Workforce Safety and Insurance is responsible for a toxic stew of arrogance and incomp...

It's no surprise the embattled top managers at North Dakota's worker compensation agency are adopting a bunker strategy. After all, the all-but-corrupt team at Workforce Safety and Insurance is responsible for a toxic stew of arrogance and incompetence that is impossible to defend.

WSI's strategy will fail for several reasons, not the least of which is the governor's evident irritation with the oversight failures of the agency's board of directors. He wants a clean, no-nonsense, outside review of the "fairness and consistency" of the agency's claims process. (See Gov. John Hoeven's commentary on this page today.)

Hoeven's call for a consultant's independent analysis strongly suggests WSI's core mission has been compromised. The agency's problems, therefore, are far more serious than what its defenders dismiss as the complaints of disgruntled WSI employees. The focus now is on the board's governance.

"My confidence in the board," the governor told The Forum, "will be based on how they address these issues."

The governor is being polite. The board's behavior has been less than honorable. The governor's call for an outside review confirms the board already has lost his confidence.

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Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper's Editorial Board.

Forum editorial: No confidence in WSI board is appropriate 20071123

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