consultants are sandburs

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A legislated sunshine protection for citizens re government contracts - an implied term of contracts and subcontracts where a governmental body contracts with the private sector.

Strib reports on Dayton signing "the Timberjay bill" here, referencing back to an earlier Strib item, here.

A Minnesota Newspaper Association "Sunshine Week Editorial" from mid-March, here.

FOR THOSE WANTING MORE DETAIL: The bill repairs a data practices loophole that needed a fix; see Court of Appeals decision favoring transparency here; see reversal by Minnesota's Supreme Court, here.

Bill text and history of it advancing through the legislature to become law also is online, here; for what the bill says; (with how the courts will read it being tomorrow's question).

MY TAKE: A frustration from before the last Ramsey council election; Flaherty had a financing contract for his apartment adventure with the City fronting him public money, and in that context there was the employment contract between Flaherty and his general contractor and Emily McGlone. It's details and Ryan Cronk's role in it coming into being was something I strongly believed the public should know, yet, where the bast gentlemen stonewalled me.

What pay, what details, it was inaccessible per the judicial precedent. Now, with this bill, presumably if a similar incident were to recur, a suit to compel disclosure of such elemental detail likely would succeed; although the expectation would be needing to sue, still, to force (from within the weed patch of those dealing in such a style of employment practices) a compliance with sensible and proper law.

We citizens wanting maximal accountability in government should all rejoice on the legislature, this time, doing the right thing by closing that offensive loophole.

NOTE: The headline use of "implied term" is appropriate. The law demands that subcontracts expressly contain a sunshine clause/term; but the likely place where litigation will ensue is where such a thing is omitted either via negligence or intent. Then, it would be for the courts on a "clearly at law should have been there" basis to imply it existing even if omitted in actual [sub]contract text.

No comments: