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 Freedom of Information and Transparency

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Posts : 1
Join date : 2011-12-10
Location : Lynn

PostSubject: Freedom of Information and Transparency    Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:42 pm

As an unemployed carpenter I recently attempted to obtain information on construction projects both in the planning stage, current procurements being bid on and previously won bids that are listed through the state government.
There are two bulletins or publications that I know of put out by the State:

One is called "The Goods and Services Bulletin", which lists all procurements involving everything that the state’s cities and towns need to function and operate. Everything from toilet paper to pens and stationary and everything in-between.

The other is “The Massachusetts Central Register” which is a list of construction projects and procurement's being put out by every city and town across the state. From the pre-planning stages (seeking architects and engineers and planners surveyor's ) right on down to general contractors and sub contractors; plumbers, painters, carpenters etc. and a list of the company names of bidders and the winning bidders.

These bi-weekly reports use to be free for the general public to view at any local library reference department in hard copy form. Both of these are now no longer available in hard copy form to local libraries due to cost issues.

Here’s my issue:

Neither are available or viewable on line at or through the local libraries or their web sites and in order to have access to them the state charges individuals outrageous amounts of money for digital subscriptions.

I found these to be invaluable years ago when searching for a job and trying to start my own business. I would sit in the Library for hours planning job searches and writing cover letters and resumes. Not having this type of information available any longer makes the search for work much harder and more monotonous. I find this to be a terrible burden and inconvenience.

Let alone the fact that it allows the state to operate in secrecy, or at bear minimum in the shadows.

As you can see the enormous ramifications and cost of this lack of available information to the small businesses of Ma. And to the average citizen trying to start a small business or looking for a job trying to follow the work and money trail. or anyone just wanting to stay informed on how there tax dollars are being spent.

My question is Why?

When the cost to provide this information to the public would be a fraction of the cost in digital form vs the old fashion hard copy form is this information now, no longer accessible?
Thoughts or feedback anyone?
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