Ethics Commission Announces Settlement Agreement With Governor Lujan Grisham Related to Interference in HSD Procurement

Albuquerque, NM, August 10, 2023 – The State Ethics Commission, an independent state agency that promotes the integrity of state government, reached a settlement agreement with New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the Human Services Department (“HSD”) related to the Request for Proposals for Managed Care Organization Contractors for Turquoise Care RFP # 23-630-8000- 0001 (Sept. 30, 2022) (“RFP”).

HSD issued the Turquoise Care RFP on September 30, 2022 and canceled it on January 30, 2023. On April 20, 2023, following an investigation into the cancellation of the RFP, the State Ethics Commission contended that the cancellation of the RFP violated the Procurement Code and authorized its Executive Director to file an appropriate civil enforcement action. New Mexico spends roughly 8 billion dollars using state and federal funding on Medicaid, providing healthcare for nearly half of all New Mexicans.

As a result of a settlement mediation with the Honorable Judith K. Nakamura (Ret.) serving as mediator, the State Ethics Commission, New Mexico Governor

Michelle Lujan Grisham, and HSD agreed to the following terms, as identified in the August 10, 2023 Settlement Agreement and Release.

  • HSD will rescind the January 30, 2023 Notice of Termination and send notices of that rescission to the five offerors who submitted proposals in response to the RFP.
  • HSD will issue the four notices of intent to award the four offerors that HSD had selected for MCO contracts—namely, Health Care Service Corporation d/b/a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, UnitedHealthcare of New Mexico, Molina Healthcare of New Mexico, Inc., and Presbyterian Health Plan.
  • HSD shall notify Presbyterian Health Plan, Inc. of their selection for the award of the contract to provide managed care for children in state custody (“CISC”).
  • HSD shall notify Western Sky Community Care that HSD did not select it for an MCO contract award following HSD’s evaluation.
  • HSD shall commence with the negotiation and award of MCO contracts with the four offerors, pursuant to the process set forth by the RFP, the procurement process set forth in New Mexico’s Procurement Code, and all applicable state procurement regulations as stated in the New Mexico Administrative Code.
    About the State Ethics Commission
    The State Ethics Commission is an independent, constitutional state agency with the authority to enforce civil violations of New Mexico’s governmental ethics and disclosure statutes, including the Procurement Code. The Commission is comprised of three Democratic Commissioners, three Republican Commissioners, and one independent Commissioner who is registered as “decline to state.” For more information about the State Ethics Commission, please visit ###
    For more information about the State Ethics Commission, visit