Massachusetts’ 42 quasi-public agencies operate largely under the budget radar despite performing vital government functions, some which have been on the front pages recently.
Increasingly, the public, including lawmakers, local officials and the media expect that all government expenditures will be posted online and easily accessible through a Google-like search function. The good news is that the House recently adopted language as part of their fy 2011 budget that includes transparency for quasi-publics as part of broader spending disclosure and accountability reform that includes spending on tax credits. Attention will now move to the Senate, which will debate the budget next week.
The new report calls for a number of reforms, including comprehensive disclosure, creation of an oversight board for quasi publics, and the requirement that contracting at quasi publics to be done through a transparent process like Comm-Pass, to name just a few. For more see executive summary of report.