Follows denial of requests for information on board’s management of taxpayer funds
PITTSBURGH, PA (Aug. 26, 2015) Mayor William Peduto today formally requested that Auditor General Eugene DePasquale audit the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority following the ICA’s refusal to fully document its management of taxpayer money.
The City of Pittsburgh filed a Right to Know request July 15, 2015 for ICA documents on its use of $20 million in gaming funds owed the City, its approvals of City financial plans and related matters.
In a response August 21 the ICA fully or partly denied all but one of the City’s 27 requested sets of information, including public documents on its spending, receipts, contracts and communications with other government agencies.
“These documents should be readily available on the ICA website, to ensure transparency and accountability for an agency funded by the taxpayers, and their refusal to comply suggests they believe they are accountable to nobody. The ICA has long operated under a veil of secrecy and we are asking for your assistance to help us hold them accountable to the City of Pittsburgh and its taxpayers,” Mayor Peduto wrote.
The Mayor also asked the Auditor General to rule on Section 204 of Act 11 of 2004, which calls for the termination of the ICA after seven years after a certification by the Secretary of Community and Economic Development. Under those terms the ICA should have been terminated in 2011.
The Right to Know request followed a lawsuit the City filed July 2 to force payment of $11.4 million in gaming funds owed to the City, which were contained in 2014 and 2015 budgets approved by the ICA. The funding due will rise to $20 million by the end of this year.
The gaming funds are due quarterly to the City, but the ICA has never once forwarded 2014 or 2015 gaming funding to the City since Mayor William Peduto took office last year. Since the filing of the suit the amount currently due the City has risen to $12.8 million.
A hearing on the suit has been set for 10 a.m., Sept. 23, before Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Christine A. Ward.
The City plans to appeal the ICA’s denials of its Right to Know requests to the Office of Open Records in Harrisburg.
A copy of the Mayor’s letter is attached here.