I'd like to talk elections and Democratic Party Committees today.
In case anyone hadn't noticed Baltimore City is a working class city with a high level of poverty and a majority black population. The politicians reflect this dynamic. Now, when the white rich power structure in Baltimore deliberately creates high unemployment and a broad and deep poverty-----it is creating what allows for control of the city. People simply want jobs and an opportunity to participate in the city and feel that to do so they must be Hopkins Team Players. Hopkins treats Baltimore citizens just as they do developing world societies----they give a few poor people lots of money to keep control of power with the rich. THIS IS WHAT US NGOs do overseas and they are doing it here in Baltimore. How do you break this cycle?
YOU EDUCATE AS TO WHERE POLICIES TAKE THE CITY AND WHAT GOALS THE RICH IN BALTIMORE HAVE WITH THESE POLICIES. SHOUT IT OUT!
Below is a professional approach to what can be a very simple community effort. I speak to people everywhere I go about doing these audits. Parents in Baltimore are fed up with education funding that does not go where it should and programs that are supposed to exist that do not. The whole Baltimore City Schools system is corrupt.
PARENTS NEED TO GET TOGETHER AND AUDIT THEIR SCHOOLS! IT IS NOT THAT HARD TO DO.
This can happen all around as communities audit specifics like corporate tax breaks like TIFs and Enterprise Zone contracts for fraud, corruption, and misappropriation. Cities around the nation are bringing back hundreds of millions of dollars to their communities by auditing and holding pols accountable.
STOP ALLOWING THOSE AT THE TOP TO PROMOTE THIS CORRUPT CULTURE AND HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE! BE THE LEADER FOR THESE ELECTED FOLLOWERS.
Use Cases and Public Financial Management
Doug Hadden, VP Products
Future of PFM
I summarized a notion of citizen audit in public financial management at the International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management (ICGFM) Spring Conference on Monday. The conference subject, “PFM in the 21st. Century,” is an ideal venue to discuss the impact of transparency and social media in government. And, a number of attendees were fascinated with the concept. Many countries do not have sufficient government auditors. Audit limitations could be overcome by enabling citizens, businesses, media and NGOs. There are compliance, fraud and performance citizen audit dimensions. Citizen audit is enabled through open data (proactive disclosure of public financial management information on the Internet) and social media collaboration (Internet enabled feedback and discussion.) Will local government lead to citizen as auditor? Will this become a civic duty?
Timor-Leste Transparency Portal enables Citizen Audit
Compliance Use Cases
Fiscal discipline in government is partly achieved through following good practices. Public financial management in practice should follow government rules. This can be audited by citizens:
- Procurement: Identify any procurements that did not follow government standards such as not enough time to respond, illegal requirements, not enough bids solicited etc. Procurement transparency requires e-procurement portals.
- Budget Preparation: Identify any elements in budget preparation that did not follow rules such as not enough time for the legislature to consider the budget or improper support for budget estimates. Budget preparation transparency requires open budgets and the publication of budget books.
- Recruitment: Identity improper government recruiting that does not follow civil service rules. Recruitment transparency requires e-recruitment portals.
- Financial Reporting: Identify late government reporting such as failure to close accounts and report in a timely manner that does not follow the government financial law. Financial reporting transparency requires the publication of budgets, budget books and public accounts.
Citizens can audit government financials to identify cases of fraud and corruption. Civil society can be trained to analyze government financial information. Audit opportunities include:
- Revenue and Tax: Identify whether corporate taxes have been properly paid and entered the government treasury. Revenue transparency requires revenue portals and support for EITI.
- Civil Service Expenditures: Identify whether senior public servants or politicians have incurred unreasonable personal and travel expenditures. Civil service expenditure transparency requires reporting on web portals.
- Procurement: Identify whether companies have illegally manipulated the procurement process. Procurement transparency requires e-procurement portals that display winning bidders.
- Bribery: Enable citizens to report when a public servant requested a bribe. Bribery transparency requires anonymous web site reporting.
The audit function in government has matured to focus in government efficiency and effectiveness. This is an emerging opportunity for citizen audit.Performance audit opportunities include:
- Citizen outcomes: Enable citizens to report on government outputs and outcomes such as taking pictures of infrastructure program progress or reporting
- Participatory budgeting: Enable citizens to participate in the budget preparation process, possibly policy formulation.
- Government results: Enable citizens to evaluate whether government objectives were achieved and whether outcomes were aligned to objectives.
Over the last decade or two Bill Clinton has recruited and trained black leaders to carrying the mantle of neo-liberalism and we are seeing black mayors and Senators----black education leaders. They all have one thing in common-----they are raging Wall Street pols and they do not care where these policies lead. Clinton and neo-liberalism is about dismantling all of the structures of oversight and accountability as with Republicans that in turn leads to widespread movement of government revenue everywhere except where it is supposed to go. Clinton did this as did Bush so the rich could steal billions and indeed trillions of dollars and when the top becomes corrupt they must allow the low-level administrators to be corrupt and VOILA-----THIS IS THE DYNAMIC THAT IS BALTIMORE. Other cities around the country has similar setups. The problem for Clinton and neo-liberals is that now the wealth inequity has become to steep and the need for buying the lower administrators is decreasing as power comes with dismantling justice. We have watched over a few years since the 2008 crash one black leader after another charged and sentenced for fraud and corruption in government. No charges of the people at the top allowing and involving these pols in fraud and corruption.
This is how we reverse the problem of fraud and corruption in government. The pols at the lower end must not be tempted to get involved with all of the corruption at the top. As soon as that pol allows himself or herself to become part of the crime----they are now controlled for life by those corrupt people at the top. You do what we say or we won't pad your income or will prosecute you for that fraud or malfeasance. I listened to Sheila Dixon being brought up for stealing some Xmas cards for children and right away thought-----with Baltimore Development Corporation and Johns Hopkins defrauding coffers of hundreds of millions each year taking from the poor children -----why did Sheila get the ax?
IT LOOKS LIKE SHEILA TRIED TO DO JUST A LITTLE FOR THE COMMUNITIES OF THE CITY WHEN BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT WANTED ALL THE CITY'S REVENUE TO COME TO THEM.
They knew the dirt on Sheila and used it as they will on any pol that allows themselves to become greedy. Tell me that the money a City Council are Maryland Assembly person earns is not enough to live a good life without all of the corruption!
STOP ALLOWING THE POWER IN BALTIMORE SNAG YOU WITH CORRUPTION. YOU SELL YOUR FREEDOM.
Let's look at one institution that shouted out against this for these very reasons: The Black Minority Contractors of America.
Baltimore City was once flush with black minority contractors and as we know today-----almost all have been pushed out of business. Let's be honest------in an environment of corruption these black minority contractor worked hand in hand with the corruption as does our Maryland union leaders and it is all done to get the job opportunities. DON'T SAY IT ISN'T SO! The problem when you allow fraud and corruption all around you is that it can turn on you in a minute and that is what is happening in Baltimore and Maryland right now. The entire bidding process is corrupt and now what defines minority or even saying work is going to minority contractors that is not is the new fraud. IF YOU ALLOW CORRUPTION IT ALWAYS COMES BACK TO BITE YOU.
Sham Minority Contractors Have Been Hired in Your City, Probably
By Patrick Kerkstra | May 13, 2013
Contractors at work on an environmental restoration project in Philadelphia. Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Philadelphia Inspector General Amy Kurland announced last week that local contractors have used “sham minority subcontractors” on 19 projects to skirt antidiscrimination requirements.
In New York, investigations into fraudulent hiring of minority- and women-owned subcontractors are so common that they have become something of a specialty for local prosecutors. The most recent instance was a $10 million settlement reached with Siemens Electrical.
The story is the same in Chicago, Seattle and Dallas. And that’s just in the last few years. Go back further, and it’s the rare city or state that hasn’t endured a scandal or four tied to well-intentioned minority contracting regulations.
The particulars of the rules vary from city to city and state to state, but the objective is always the same: Foster economic development in minority communities by requiring (or strongly encouraging) companies awarded public contracts to hire subcontractors owned by minorities or women.
It’s a laudable goal, as business ownership in America remains largely the domain of white men. Of the 4.65 million privately held firms in the nation with more than one paid employee, 89 percent are run by white principals and 62 percent are owned by men, according to U.S. Census data. (Women own 18 percent on their own, while another 20 percent of firms are owned jointly by men and women.)
Government contracting requirements are designed to reduce that imbalance, and they can work. The federal government’s version of the program, called the 8(a) Business Development Program, is designed to help minority-owned businesses “build their competitive and institutional know-how.”
This is how it’s supposed to work. Minority-owned companies register with local agencies that certify both their capability and the makeup of their ownership. In some cases, contracts are set aside for minority-owned businesses. In others, companies with large contracts are expected to subcontract out some percentage of the work to minority-owned subcontractors.
But that’s where things can get sticky. In a large number of cases across the country, contractors have taken to using sham minority subcontractors — shell companies “owned” by minorities that don’t have the actual capacity to perform the work in question. These faux contracting operations can make it look as though real work and real cash is flowing to minority-owned businesses, when in fact the money is really being passed through.
Another version of the same scandal features politically connected minority business owners, who use their juice to ensure their companies receive a big slice of the set-aside contracts, as was the case in Philadelphia in past years.
What is it about minority contracting programs that makes them such persistent sources of fraud and corruption?
The answer depends on whom you ask. Some non-minority contractors suggest privately that the root of the problem is a genuine lack of capable minority-owned firms in their industry or city, a state of affairs that can lead less scrupulous contractors to look for shortcuts to satisfy municipal requirements.
Others suggest that affirmative action in contracting is vulnerable to fraud because all parties are eager to welcome good news. Politicians sometimes embrace stats that reflect climbing rates of minority participation in contracting, even when the firms driving those spikes are shams.
Back in Philadelphia, Kurland doesn’t accept the premise that minority contracting programs are inherently prone to corruption. Rather, she said that for a variety of reasons, they just do not get the scrutiny they need.
“These programs can be effectively policed,” Kurland said. “And the press we’re getting on this can have a huge deterrent effect.”
What does this have to do with politicians? Well, Baltimore's level of corruption happens because Baltimore City Hall allows it and absolutely no oversight occurs. Not without coincidence, City Hall is mostly black while Baltimore Development and Johns Hopkins are the rich white guys creating the policies that allow all this fraud and corruption to exist. If these black pols in City Hall had not joined into the corruption----they could fix the problems leading to black contractors becoming extinct today. THEY JOINED THE CORRUPTION AND THEY ARE SILENCED.
So, now we have Hispanic contractors being called the minority and winning all the contracts and they are joining in on the corruption just as the black contractors did. We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Montgomery County from Hispanic companies enriched from fraud just as black contractors once were. Now, those Hispanic contractors are caught and will be brought down without a voice.
BLACK CITY LEADERS ARE SILENCED AS THEY PARTICIPATED IN THE FRAUDS THAT ARE NOW EMBRACING HISPANIC CORPORATIONS AND IT IS THE RICH WHITE PEOPLE AT THE TOP BRINGING IN BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN GOVERNMENT FRAUD.
These Hispanic contractors will face the same situations and worse since they are often not even citizens----which is why O'Malley and Rawlings-Blake brings them to Maryland. They are even more easy to capture.
We know that wage theft happens with minority contractors as it does with while contractors and it is widespread as in Maryland and especially Baltimore. Who knows all this is happening? City Hall and the Maryland Assembly. These pols are complicit to widespread fraud.
THEY LOSE THEIR VOICE WHEN THEY JOIN THIS CLUB.
City Council Declares Wage Theft Crisis in L.A.
By City News Service
Declaring a “wage theft crisis,” Los Angeles City Council members joined worker rights groups Tuesday in calling for renewed efforts to punish employers who cheat workers out of their pay.
Wage theft occurs when employers pay less than the minimum wage, fail to pay overtime, misclassify employees as independent contractors or simply do not pay them.
Wage theft comes to an estimated $26.2 million per week in Los Angeles, according to a report put out by the Los Angeles Coalition Against Wage Theft, which includes the UCLA Labor Center.
The coalition also includes the groups 9to5, CARECEN, CHIRLA, the CLEAN Carwash Campaign, the Garment Worker Center, and the unions UFCW 770 and SEIU USWW.
Victims of wage theft tend to be low-wage workers, including those employed at car washes, restaurants and garment factories, the coalition said.
The groups were joined at a City Hall news conference by Los Angeles City Council members Gil Cedillo and Paul Koretz, who are trying to revive an earlier attempt to enforce laws against wage theft.
Koretz said workers lose money owed to them “due to violations of our state’s most basic protections.”
But the employers who are “bad apples know they can get away with it because the state bureaucracy is too slow to root them out,” he said.
“Wage theft has been a crime that is tough to remedy, because there is no easy method for workers to recover their wages,” according to Koretz.
Koretz said Los Angeles has the highest rate of wage theft in the country, with 80 percent of low-wage workers here victims of wage theft.
“It is urgent that the city do something about this very debilitating and devastating problem that afflicts so many hardworking people,” he said.
“Hard work should pay,” Cedillo said. “People who work hard in important sectors of our economy, the service sector, they should be paid a living wage.”
He said wage theft exists in many forms in LA.
“There are employers out there that take advantage of some of the hardest working and most underpaid employees,” Cedillo said. He said some of those workers are afraid to speak up because of their immigration status.”
He added that when people come to the United States to work and do not “comply” with immigration laws, “we throw them in jail, we separate their families.”
“And in the midst of this human rights crisis, at the very same time, we allow employers to exploit these conditions,” Cedillo said.
Koretz and Cedillo said the stealing of wages also hurts local economies because workers have less to spend at local businesses, and many employers are hurt because wage theft creates an unfair advantage for some businesses.
The councilmen want the City Attorney’s Office to work with police, the UCLA Downtown Labor Center and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network to craft an ordinance that would “criminalize the practice of wage theft in the city … and increase tracking and enforcement of wage theft.”
The council members said victims of wage theft would be able to report the violations to the city, but no other details were given on how the city could improve enforcement efforts.
So, now Hispanic pols are getting elected and they are the ones now entrenched in this culture of fraud and corruption and they will, like black contractors and pols be made silent and will be pushed out when not needed to exploit labor anymore.
The tensions between Hispanics and blacks will grow as Baltimore's policies of allowing black unemployment to grow does just that. This tension between two people of color is deliberate and you know what? The fraud and corruption keeps people silent and left to their own devices.
NO SNITCHING COMES FROM BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT AND JOHNS HOPKINS AND THEIR CULTURE OF CORRUPTION IN ALL THAT IS PUBLIC POLICY!
SEE NO EVIL, SPEAK NO EVIL, AND HEAR NO EVIL IS THE HOPKINS CREDO.
You look at Baltimore City employees forced to work in this mess and they are sick of it!