Archive for the ‘Accountability’ Category

Taxpayers Paid $129,100,798 for “Official” Union Activities in 2009

(Capitol Research Center) Taxpayers paid more than $129 million in salaries and benefits to federal employees for doing “official” union work in 2009. These federal employees logged about 3 million hours and received government paychecks for doing union work. How can this be? Title V of the...
December 27th, 2011 | Accountability, Transparency | Read More

Anchorage Property Taxes: A Snapshot

Recently, there has been much discussion in Anchorage regarding  public employee wages, education and property taxes. Folks on both sides tend to throw out numbers regarding whether or not public employees are paid enough, and whether Anchoragites pay high property taxes. The Policy Forum has posted...
September 2nd, 2011 | Accountability, Transparency | Read More

Congress May Remove Whistleblower from Endangered Species List

A bipartisan contingent of senators has reintroduced legislation to provide better protections for federal whistleblowers. The 2011 Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act is virtually identical to the legislation that narrowly missed passage last December, when an anonymous senator blocked it on the...
April 25th, 2011 | Accountability | Read More

Financial Regulation Bill Exempts SEC From FOIA Requests

Under a little-noticed provision of the recently passed financial-reform legislation, the Securities and Exchange Commission no longer has to comply with virtually all requests for information releases from the public, including those filed under the Freedom of Information Act. The law, signed last week...
July 29th, 2010 | Accountability, Recent News, Transparency | Read More

D.C. teachers pressed to perform

(NCAP) With a new union contract under her arm Chancellor Michelle Rhee, of the the District of Columbia, has fired 241 under-performing teachers. Recent teachers’ union negotiations have given teachers their own report cards, with large raises and the boot on either ends of the scale.  Read...
July 28th, 2010 | Accountability, Education | Read More

Troopers call for evidence database upgrade

( After struggling with more than a few gaps in their evidence database, the Alaska Wildlife Troopers are on the brink of updating a system that has been in place since 1984. Director Col. Gary Folger said the current system does not sort or categorize items in any kind of searchable...
July 13th, 2010 | Accountability | Read More

Indiana Legislators push for Transparency Website

STATEHOUSE (June 24, 2010) – Senate Republican leaders today proposed the Daniels administration unilaterally move forward without a legislative mandate on a new “transparency website” showing budgets and spending by Indiana state government. The key GOP senators said the site should later be expanded...
June 28th, 2010 | Accountability, Fiscal Policy, Policy | Read More

Signatories of petitions now subject to rules of Open Government

(The Spokesman-Review) The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a big victory for open government when it ruled that political petition signers do not have a broad First Amendment guarantee to hide their names from public view. The 8-1 decision stemmed from a challenge by a Washington state religious group,...
June 25th, 2010 | Accountability, Policy | Read More

New education stimulus to complete the first’s task

(Heritage Foundation) Congress will soon consider a $23 billion spending measure for public education. This money comes on the heels of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)—the so-called stimulus bill—which contained $80 billion in K-12 education funding. Further, President Obama’s...
June 24th, 2010 | Accountability, Education, Fiscal Policy | Read More

Anchorage VA clinic: $76mil, 184,000 square feet

(KTUU) Patients and staffers at Anchorage’s veterans’ clinic have waited two years for this day: the opening of their new building on North Muldoon Road. Less than seven miles from the site of the new crime lab, the new clinic measures 184,000 square feet, but with a price tag that should...
May 17th, 2010 | Accountability, Economics, Issues, Policy | Read More

Beluga whales blamed for Anchorage port construction problems

(ADN) The Anchorage port cost has doubled from an estimated $375 million to $750+ million, and the expected  completion date has moved from 2015 to a likely 2020. The ICRC is now seeking a new contractor to fix existing issues and complete the project. Read the article <here>
May 11th, 2010 | Accountability | Read More

Budget request uncovers mismanagement of Alaska Medicaid

(Fairbanks Daily News-miner) The state suspended, for one year ending in mid-2009, a school-focused Medicaid reimbursement program after muddy financial reporting raised red flags with federal agencies. The Department of Health and Social Services has asked for a legislative OK to balance its books by...
April 23rd, 2010 | Accountability, Health Care, Policy | Read More

Former Crime Lab Director Criticizes New Proposal

Former Crime Lab Director Criticizes New Proposal
Former crime lab director, George Taft, criticizes proposed crime lab and recommends Alaska Policy Forum report.  April 5, 2010 Anchorage, Alaska – Another former director of the Alaska State Crime Lab has expressed his opposition to the crime lab replacement project as it has been currently proposed...
April 22nd, 2010 | Accountability, Featured | Read More

The best form of transparency

The best form of transparency
For some, the word “transparency” may seem like a political football. While there exist those who do use it as such, there is a larger worldwide effort to change the perception about government data and its usefulness to the public. Can more disclosure of government data be useful to Alaskans? Alaska...
April 20th, 2010 | Accountability, Featured | Read More

REPORT: Is the Crime Lab Proposal Fiscally Responsible?

The Alaska Policy Forum has released a study of the State Crime Lab replacement project proposed by the Department of Public Safety. The study concluded that the needs assessment used to determine the size of the facility was based on outdated documents. The proposed lab would include services already...
April 2nd, 2010 | Accountability, Featured | Read More