Cincinnati Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls announced a new initiative that would improve the city’s public transparency practices for the first time in ten years. Qualls is looking to expand reporting and disclosure requirements for city officials, lobbyists, and contractors. The new information would be included on the city’s website.
Qualls plans to have a motion ready to introduce when the city council convenes next month, that motion would also contain provisions for whistleblowers including protection and training. According to a statement from Qualls office, the motion is particularly timely as the city looks at new infrastructure spending projects.
CivSource previously reported on negotiations surrounding the city’s mass transportation systems, a conversation which is ongoing as budget battles renew each cycle. Cincinnati is also working on a large project to upgrade local sewer and waterways systems. That project is expected to total in the billions of dollars and will include a variety of contracting relationships that could face new disclosure requirements if this motion passes.
“Cincinnati issues contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars each year. From 2010-2012, the city let more than 9,000 contracts for construction, professional services and supplies and services, valued at more than $816 million,” Qualls said in a statement.
Cincinnati’s city government was recently under scrutiny after it withheld a memo about the lease of local parking meters.