By Steve Grossman
One of the pledges I made when I entered this campaign last year was that I would run an “open” Treasurer’s office. And I meant that in two ways.
First, I mean transparency in the way the office does business. I believe strict competitive bidding regulations should govern the treasury’s decisions with respect to investment managers, consulting service contracts, and other business dealings. I also will ensure that there are comprehensive disclosure rules for Treasury policymakers to avoid the appearance of conflicts.
I also mean, however, that the Treasury’s business should be open to all qualified parties who want to compete for it including small businesses, women-owned businesses, and minority-owned firms. The Treasury should work more actively with community banks as well as the money center giants. My friend Peter Franchot, who is Maryland’s Comptroller, launched an innovative and successful program that helped smaller, emerging investment managers play a major role handling that state’s pension funds, and I am looking at ways to replicate that initiative here.
It is important to note that the two forms of openness go hand-in-hand. If the Commonwealth is to direct business to more people and firms, then it is absolutely essential that these decisions be transparent, accountable, fair, and always made in the best interest of Massachusetts’s taxpayers.