Monday, October 29, 2007

Let's look at the contracts 

I'd encourage you to read Larry Schumacher and Charlie Quimby on lack of transparency in Minnesota government. Charlie's correct to write:

Last session, the legislature passed, and Governor Pawlenty signed, the State Government Omnibus Bill, which contained a provision for a web-based contracts disclosure system. But no money was appropriated to create it.

This is just one example of the political struggle to reconcile public demands for more government accountability with pressure to control spending. One side says, here's a needed reform and the other side says, fine, but don't spend any money on it unless you cut something else.

The bill passes with bipartisan support and everyone is on record as being in favor of greater transparency, but there's no money or accountability for actually making anything happen.

This results in a patchwork of the good, the bad, and the unfunded.

I can tell you about how contracts work through our university system, but I can't show you who got paid for what, even though there's no problem with you coming to the library here and getting data on my salary. There's enough blame here to be bipartisan; we should ask our candidates next year if they intend to fund this program.

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