Transparency Coming to Bernalillo County?

Bernalillo County Commissioner Wayne Johnson has introduced a resolution that would dramatically expand transparency in the County. The bill will be heard before the Commission on Tuesday, April 12th. If you can, please attend and show your support for transparency. If you can’t attend, send the Commissioners an email.

The resolution would do the following:

1. Create an Internet transparency portal to be completed by August 1st, 2011 where the public will have searchable access to public records created by or in the possession of Bernalillo County hereinafter referred to as a “Sunshine Portal.”

2. The County’s Sunshine Portal will provide access to information and/or documents including but not limited to:

a) A complete County employee listing including employee name, job title, department, supervisor, annual compensation, annual total compensation including benefits, and year-to-date compensation. Listing to include all full and part-time employees and elected officials. The County shall also post all job descriptions.
b) A complete listing of contracts between the County and any contractor or service provider that includes a brief description of the scope of work, contractor name, contractor principle name, amount of contract, term of contract with start and end dates, amendments to contract including changes in scope, term, and amount of contract. Contract listing will also include a link to the signed and executed contract as well as any amendments to the contract. This listing will include all active and completed contracts that are currently in electronic form. Records not currently in electronic form will be added to this listing as soon as practicable.
c) A complete listing of all County real estate holdings including name of the County department using the facility or name of the tenant leasing or subleasing a facility, property, a building or part of a building from the County, percentage occupied, property address, and estimated property value. Listing shall include links to executed tenant leases.
d) A County check register or “checkbook” to include payee name, contract reference if any, description of purchase, date, and amount of payment.
e) All department budgets and budgets of County elected officials including year-to-date expenditures, percentage above/below appropriated budget, and department purchases.
f) County budget as proposed including any administrative changes made during the budget year.
g) Agendas, meeting dates, and minutes for County boards, committees and commissions formed and appointed by the Board of County Commissioners.
h) A searchable frequently requested documents listing where documents that have been requested under the Inspection of Public Records Act will be made available for quick access.
i) An “As Built” agenda section for the Board of County Commission that makes proposed agenda items immediately available to the public as meeting agendas are being built. Listing should clearly indicate whether or not it has been finalized for the indicated meeting. Said finalization will occur no later than specified by the Board of County Commissioners’ Open Meetings Resolution adopted annually by the Board of County Commissioners.

3. All agenda items included for consideration or action by the Board of County Commissioners will include name of the commissioner or manager proposing the item.
4. Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) requests will be handled in a manner that is in compliance with New Mexico law keeping in mind the Board of County Commissioners’ intent with respect to the disclosure of public information. Those individuals processing IPRA requests shall not assert a claim for exemption that is not supported by law.
5. Redactions to public records will be accompanied by an explanation of the basis for such redaction from the requested document along with the provision of state or federal law that allows for or requires redaction. It is the policy of the County that items will only be redacted where such authority is provided for or required by state or federal law, in cases of pending litigation, in cases where dissemination of information could result identity theft, or where there is a countervailing public policy.

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