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Non-Transparency Transparency

The MSB has a new section of its website titled “Transparency.”

However, a close examination shows that this section is akin to a “Non-Apology Apology.”  I.e., it only pretends to be transparent.

Here is the new section:

Budget 4

It has new nifty bar graphs.  Click on any section and see if you actually learn anything useful.

Budget 1

The MSB Transparency Section also claims that the CAFRs (Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports) show the public how money was actually spent. Um, not exactly.  The CAFRs, while important annual audits, only list broad categories of information.

Budget 3

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW THE MSB ACTUALLY AND SPECIFICALLY SPENDS MONEY,  you need to review the Detailed General and Sub Ledgers. I.E. the  actual Accounting BOOKS.

However, you need to do a public records request to obtain these LEDGERS. And good luck getting them. (This is why we need an ONLINE CHECKBOOK.)

These Accounting Ledger examples shows details for spending in the broad category of “Economic Development.”

In the summer of 2016, the MSB hosted the summer AML conference and had a little promotional shindig out at the Port. Hence the food and bus costs.

Budget 2

Here is Economic Development for December 2016 – total of over 63K.  We hired several consultants – including former Gov Sean Parnell (his total contract was over $103,500 x two years) and “Northern Economics” and “Prime Focus LLC.”

Budget 5

The MSB might claim that the public doesn’t really need details.  However, the devil is in the details.