The Stunning Truth About Who is Advising SC Legislators

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Diane Hardy is a small business owner and founder of the Mom and Pop Alliance of South Carolina. She submits on behalf of the Mom and Pop Alliance of South Carolina.

It’s a real head scratcher! We apologize in advance that you’ll have wade through a sea of alphabet soup to understand who South Carolina hired to help us consolidate and centralize the framework of our state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). Why would SC hire the consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG) who plays a prominent role in the World Economic Forum (WEF), has close ties to the World Health Organization (WHO), partners with the Gates Foundation, is working to fulfill the United Nations’ (UN’s) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is pro-DEI (Diversity Equity & Inclusion) and ESG (a form of social credit scoring placed on businesses), and is a founding member of “Partnering for Racial and Ethnic Justice?”  How can South Carolinians be assured that BCG’s recommendations for House bill H4927 and Senate bill S915 are not biased toward centralized authority?

The Boston Consulting Group is a global consulting firm with offices in over 50 countries and $11.7 billion in revenue. They proport to help clients with “total transformation.” In the opinion of the Mom and Pop Alliance of South Carolina, big isn’t necessarily bad, but other information has come to light about BCG that should give South Carolinians pause. We must ask if they are they the best fit for our state and can we trust that they do not have an agenda? Because DHEC has far-reaching control, we must be confident that we are seeking counsel from the best sources. 

Additionally, BCG is a strong proponent of the Green New Deal, vaccines, and reimagining our food intake, mainly by drastically curtailing meat consumption. BCG is very proud of their partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF). In their words, “The Word Economic Forum engages leaders from all facets of society – business, politics, academia, and beyond – to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.….” and “Our relationship goes beyond these meetings. The World Economic Forum taps our people and insights for its collaborative projects, publications, and global communities to engage stakeholders…” and “BCG attends the Annual Meeting in Davos, the Annual Meeting of the New Champions in China, and many other regional gatherings.”  

Finally, BCG was called out in a 2021 Vox article for charging the World Health Organization (WHO) just shy of $12 million for “dubiously awarded” contracts. The article explains how BCG and other management consulting firms have “become ubiquitous in global public health organizations.” They further condemn potential conflicts of interest and the opaque nature of consulting work. Perhaps SC should take note.

Covid should have taught us that public health policy can have huge ramifications, and as such we must be cautious and thoughtful when it comes to restructuring this powerful agency. DHEC is responsible for implementing vast regulations with profound impact on small business and health emergencies, so any changes to its power structure carefully considered, with attention to unintended (and perhaps, some intended) consequences. This is why the Mom and Pop Alliance ( believes this a deeper dive into the specifics is warranted.  

Jonathan Scott, BCG Managing Director and Senior Partner, New York, and BCG Partner Colleen Desmond were the in-person presenters. Ms. Desmond is part of the non-profit Chicago Council on Global Affairs which states they strive to “…empower more people to help shape our global future.”  Her Chicago Council is proud of their commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) stating, “We are committed to weaving DEI throughout the fabric of the Council…”  The Mom and Pop Alliance believes DEI is discriminatory and divisive. Thankfully, the truth about the harmful effects of DEI on business are starting to come to light.  

BCG said their suggestions were necessary because our current DHEC framework is “fragmented” and their plan would streamline services and provide greater accountability.  Their proposal includes the following: 

  1. Transfer of power from Governor to Secretary for appointment of all current directors of 5 depts.
  2. This Secretary will review and approve or disapprove ALL regulations before submission to Gen. Assembly.
  3. The appointed directors would have no one to go with concerns since they were hired by this one Secretary. 
  4. There would be no qualifications, requirements, or term limits for this very powerful individual Secretary.
  5. Transfer of power regarding assistance from sheriffs and State National Guard to the Secretary.

Our understanding is that BCG was chosen by Marcia Adams, Executive Director of the SC Department of Administration. Their presentation must have been very compelling because every senator but one voted for S915. On the House side, only 17 brave representatives voted NO. We found this concerning, but Mom and Pop would urge citizens to give your State elected officials some grace, as they have thousands of bills this session and we don’t believe they were given full disclosure about BCG. It is vital that we help educate them on BCG and the need to slow down and consider ways to add additional checks and balances to any legislation before proceeding.  

When seeking information, we believe it is always important to consider the source. It looks like that failed to happen here when the SC Department of Administration tapped BCG to put together this “healthcare study.” Does this mean that DHEC doesn’t need to be restructured? Not necessarily, but it does mean that we need to question the recommendations by BCG, potentially biased toward centralized decision-making with few checks and balances. We know that our part-time legislators are overwhelmed, and it is not humanly possible to read and keep up with all the information that comes at them during Session, but we believe that given what we saw happen during Covid and the vast powers of DHEC, this issue needs more time, study, and research. Senate bill S975 is a potential alternative and should get another look.  

If making DHEC a cabinet position is the best way to go, then perhaps a second opinion is warranted. Also, it now appears that even our existing law needs reforming to ensure stronger health freedom protections.  The Mom and Pop Alliance of SC will continue to look out for the interests of SC’s small business community, and we will be staying on top of this issue, encouraging a thoughtful and transparent solution.  

Diane Hardy is a freelance writer who founded the Mom and Pop Alliance of South Carolina.

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