Friday, July 15, 2011

Has There Been a Hold Placed on Indianapolis City Government Transparency Pending the Election?

Looking around at the City's website, I'm noticing the transparency promised by the Mayor Greg Ballard and Council leadership, seems to have suddenly disappeared.

On the contracts database, it appears that only one contract has been added in the last two months. 

On the council page, there is a link to the councilor ethics forms...that were filed in July 1, 2009.

Over at the city's lobbyist on-line database, it appears many lobbyists have stopped filing.  In 2010, 113 lobbyists had filed.  Thus far in 2011, it's only 37.

While the parking meter contract was posted earlier on as well as the various bids, no such transparency is forthcoming with regard to the Broad Ripple parking garage.  I can't find any information about the project on-line and the City is refusing to comply with reporter and bloggers' open records requests seeking information on the winning bid by Keystone Construction and its partners.  The City is claiming the information is a "trade secret."  The fact the City provided that same information on the losing bids and is willing to provide it for the Keystone deal after it is finalized, undercuts that claim.  If it is a trade secret before the deal, it is a trade secret after.  This queestionable legal interpretation is most certainly an attempt by the City to keep people from investigating the questionable deal.

Given that bloggers and reporters have been using these on-line sources to get information, it is not far fetched to consider the possibility that a "hold" has been placed on transparency pending the outcome of the November election.

1 comment:

Cato said...

There's no consequence for secrecy, so why not do it?

Hoosiers are accustomed to having to state acceptable grounds for any request, anyway, so this policy will offend only a few on blogs and at NUVO.

The average Hoosier hates rabble-rousers, so there's no loss to offending your ilk.