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NEWS
June 28, 2012
The Baltimore City Council still has time at its July 16 meeting to put the mandatory audit of city agencies on the ballot. As for how to afford this mandate, we ill never know until regular audits demystify where the money is and how it's being spent. Council approval of this mandate would lay a foundation for less guesswork and more transparency in the city's budget deliberations next year and in subsequent years. Mary Pat Clarke, Baltimore The writer, a Democrat, represents the 14 t h District on the Baltimore City Council.
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SPORTS
Peter Schmuck and The Schmuck Stops Here | September 22, 2014
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti spent nearly 50 minutes in front of the media Monday afternoon, trying again to dispel the notion that the team has been less than forthcoming in its handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal. This time, it was to specifically dispute a recent report that portrayed the Ravens as a team that knew more than it let on about the severity of Rice's attack on then-fiancee Janay Palmer and lobbied to limit the disciplinary action handed down by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
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NEWS
June 1, 2013
After reading the article about the fuzzy kind of transparency practiced by the Obama administration, I was struck by the fact that the gist seemed to be more about crisis management and the "narrative" ("A fuzzy kind of transparency at White House," May 29). How about letting us know what really happened? We really must know where the president was during the attack on Benghazi. We really must know why Lois "I'm not guilty and, oh, by the way I take the Fifth" Learner is still earning a very large salary.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | July 26, 2014
Two weeks after the Social Security Administration received a report criticizing management for a dysfunctional, $300 million computer system, agency officials provided only a cursory summary of the findings at a meeting of a committee overseeing the project, documents obtained by The Baltimore Sun show. According to minutes from a June 17 steering committee meeting, agency officials provided limited detail about the report - noting only one of its recommendations, for instance. That lends credibility to claims by congressional Republicans that top officials at the Woodlawn-based agency delayed releasing its full details.
NEWS
Erin Cox and The Baltimore Sun | July 24, 2013
Maryland Attorney General and gubernatorial hopeful Douglas F. Gansler on Wednesday proposed the state strengthen public transparency laws and make it easier for taxpayers to hold the government accountable. He suggested creating a "Public Information Inspector General" whose sole job would be ensuring the public has quick and effective access to government data and records, one of six ideas Gansler announced during an Annapolis campaign event. The proposed public information czar would have authority to audit state agencies and set state-wide policy on how and when to release data, spending information and other records to the public, as well as resolve public complaints about barriers to accessing government records.
NEWS
February 7, 2014
The United Nations has decried the Vatican for not being transparent about the sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals over the past few decades ("UN panels urges Vatican to turn over sex abusers to authorities," Feb. 5). Moreover, the United Nations holds Pope Francis to be accountable, in a manner of speaking. The Vatican has a centuries-old twisted, cloudy and convoluted past. Pertinent information from the Vatican and the Roman Catholics around the world must be shared in order for the church to move forward.
NEWS
By Baltimore Sun reporter | March 16, 2010
Transparency should be the rule, especially with organizations supported by public funds. It seems as if the officials and governing body of the Baltimore City Public Schools raised the draw bridge without granting public access regarding the obvious and odorous actions of a principal who was pressuring Filipino teachers to purchase Mary Kay cosmetics ("School system defends response," March 16). Who will watch the watchers? McNair Taylor, Baltimore
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | March 9, 2012
Two Maryland Democrats who opposed a jobs bill that won House approval this week said Friday they voted against the measure because it would roll back regulations intended to protect investors, including those created under the landmark and controversial Sarbanes-Oxley law. Rep. John Sarbanes, a Baltimore County Democrat whose father -- former Sen. Paul Sarbanes -- was instrumental in crafting the financial regulations and Prince George's County...
BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | January 24, 2013
When it comes to disclosing to residents how their city's money is spent, Baltimore rates a grade of B+, one of the highest grades among 30 cities in a new report released by the Maryland PIRG Foundation. Only three cities received an A: Chicago, New York and San Francisco, with the first two singled out as models for the rest of the nation's cities. The report issued grades based on the ability of city residents to be able to track budgets, contracting grants and requests for quality-of-life services.
NEWS
June 27, 2010
State leaders in Annapolis took an important step this week toward making government more transparent when they announced that most major business will be broadcast live on the Internet. Starting immediately, video of Board of Public Works meetings will be live-streamed to the web, and beginning in January, video of House of Delegates committee hearings and audio of Senate committee hearings will be live-streamed. (The House's office building is newer and has more advanced technology than the Senate building; when the state budget crunch eases, we encourage the legislature to upgrade the technology in the Senate building as well.
NEWS
June 9, 2014
Football fans would be aghast at an umpire who moved the goal posts back while the game was still in play. So, it's no wonder city teachers are up in arms over a school system decision at the very end of the year raising the bar that determines whether they get a pay raise or not. The teachers union calls it a classic bait-and-switch and is demanding the issue be renegotiated. Given that the last-minute change could significantly reduce the chances that even very good teachers move up the salary scale, they are right to do so. If the goal of recruiting and retaining excellent teachers is to mean anything, the process for rewarding effectiveness in the classroom has got to be both transparent and fair.
NEWS
June 2, 2014
The release Saturday of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after five years as a prisoner of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan surely marked a jubilant moment for his family and friends in Boise, Idaho. Sgt. Bergdahl went missing from his unit in 2009 under circumstances that remain unclear, and he was captured by Taliban six months into his first tour of duty in Afghanistan. He was the last American POW to remain unaccounted for as the U.S. prepares to wind down combat operations there next year and to withdraw all but a token military force by the end of 2016.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2014
At Poynter today we find an item about how far a newspaper correction should go .  An editor at the Toronto Star  inserted an error into a reporter's article. The correction identified the error but not who perpetrated it, and the newspaper's ombudsman, Kathy English, has commented on the matter , suggesting that greater transparency would be appropriate.  The Star , like many newspapers, takes collective responsibility for what it publishes and does not go in for finger-pointing when it corrects errors.
NEWS
By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | April 19, 2014
Maryland was recently ranked 46th in the nation for transparency, but a new law could put the state ahead with a policy requiring that data be made more easily accessible to the public. Though officials post a good deal of public information on Maryland's StateStat database, advocates of open government say that data can be hard to evaluate, search and use because it is not formatted in a way that computers can easily scan. The Maryland Open Data Policy, passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Martin O'Malley this month, requires the state to make much of its public information machine-readable and searchable.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | April 14, 2014
For the first time, financial disclosure forms for nearly 1,900 Baltimore government officials will be online for public inspection, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Monday. Individuals will be able to search online for loans, family income sources, gifts and business relationships for government workers and elected officials. The change eliminates the need to travel to City Hall to pull documents, though residents will not be able to use the system until they set up an account in person.
NEWS
February 7, 2014
The United Nations has decried the Vatican for not being transparent about the sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals over the past few decades ("UN panels urges Vatican to turn over sex abusers to authorities," Feb. 5). Moreover, the United Nations holds Pope Francis to be accountable, in a manner of speaking. The Vatican has a centuries-old twisted, cloudy and convoluted past. Pertinent information from the Vatican and the Roman Catholics around the world must be shared in order for the church to move forward.
NEWS
July 13, 2010
Once again the Obama administration has demonstrated how it regularly ignores or bypasses its vaunted claims of transparency. Our socialist-progressive president recognizes that his nominee (Dr. Donald Berwick – another socialist-progressive) will never pass muster in the U.S. Senate without having to outline his philosophy and planned policies. It is obvious that a broad airing of Dr. Berwick's ideas (by the way, that's called transparency) will outrage the American people so there has to be an alternative.
EXPLORE
April 16, 2013
I have lived in Oakland Mills for 35 years. I endorse Alex Hekimian for Columbia Council. Please vote for him on Saturday April 20 at the Other Barn. Alex is the best public servant I know in Columbia. He stands for openness and transparency. Alex worked to ensure that there is a cap on the HOA tax and that the available resources are spent wisely. Last summer the CA stopped mowing certain open spaces. Paths that children use to walk to school were being neglected and the threat of Lyme disease was increased due to high grass.
NEWS
By Todd Cherkis and Roxie Herbekian | February 6, 2014
People elsewhere in the nation are taking action to tackle the issue of the growing divide between the rich and poor, but here in Maryland, the richest state in the country, we have a seismic inequality problem and are doing little to address it. New York City's new mayor, Bill de Blasio, has vowed to take on the "inequality crisis" by expanding paid sick leave, increasing taxes on the wealthy and requiring big developers to build more affordable housing....
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | December 16, 2013
The Baltimore County Council on Monday approved leasing a valuable piece of land to a Towson developer, over the objections of a councilwoman who said the deal negotiated by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz's administration lacked transparency. Council members voted 6-1 on the contract with Towson Row RP LLC, which is connected to development firm Caves Valley Partners. Councilwoman Vicki Almond, a Reisterstown Democrat, was the only one to vote against the lease agreement for 301 Washington Ave., a former county office building.
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