In The News › Editorial: An eye on government

Jun 3, 2010

Source: The Times-Picayune

Filed under: Jefferson Parish

Editorial: An eye on government

Thursday, June 03, 2010
The Times-Picayune

Jefferson Parish taxpayers have a better idea of how their money is being spent thanks to a wealth of information that is now available online.

Interim Parish President Steve Theriot ordered the posting of the salaries of all 2,905 employees as well as many of the government’s contracts. The employees may not be thrilled to have their pay revealed, but Mr. Theriot was right to take this step toward openness.

The public, after all, pays for everything.

Mr. Theriot promised more transparency when he took over as president after Aaron Broussard resigned amid a scandal involving his administration. The posting of the salary and contracting information is a good step.

Janet Howard, president of the Bureau of Governmental Research, said the inclusion of contracts online is “something we consider critical to open government.” Having that sort of access makes it easier “for the public to spot aberrations.”

There were numerous aberrations in the Broussard administration’s operation. Former chief administrator Tim Whitmer’s private insurance company was doing business with a bevy of contractors who were seeking or doing parish work.

He and a half dozen other parish employees ended up resigning for that and other improper practices.

Would having contracts online have brought Mr. Whitmer’s actions to light sooner? There’s no way to know.

But it sure couldn’t hurt.

Jun 3, 2010

Source: The Times-Picayune

Filed under: Jefferson Parish

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