Supervisors Consider Measure to Improve Pension Transparency

MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee County Pension Board could ensure that their monthly meetings
are fully open, transparent, and accessible to the public and the media if they are held at the
county courthouse, according to a resolution adopted today by the Finance and Audit
Committee of the Board of Supervisors.

“The public and the press deserve immediate access and complete transparency when it comes
to meetings of the Pension Board. In light of recent disclosures, complete transparency is a
must if we are to restore the public’s trust in our pension system,” said Chairman Lipscomb.
The resolution, authored by Chairman Lipscomb, seeks to ensure the utmost transparency of
the county pension system and its processes. The resolution requests the Milwaukee County
Pension Board start holding their meetings at the courthouse, in order to provide live online
streaming of the proceedings and an easily accessible archive for future review.

High profile decisions such as whether to make payments to a former County employee
convicted of crimes, decisions related to the IRS’s Voluntary Correction Program, and important
policy changes generate significant public interest and demonstrate the need for greater
transparency.

In late November Chairman Lipscomb proposed to Director of Retirement Plan Services that the
Pension Board hold its meetings in courthouse committee rooms that are equipped with live
streaming capabilities and capacity for a public audience.

The Pension Board considered the request at their December meeting but took no action, and
choose to continue meeting in the Marcus Center, which does not offer live streaming.

An improvement over current practices, a live video stream would offer greater transparency
because it would capture verbatim the discussion of Pension Board members in real time. Live
streaming also provides the added benefit of being archived immediately via the County
Legislative Information Center, the central location for providing public access to records of
county government proceedings.

Disclosures about errors dating to the mid 2000’s have been made regularly in recent years. In
anticipation of potential future disclosures, implementing greater transparency measures now
would ensure that deliberations over any future corrections and their fiscal impact are fully open
and accessible to the public and the press.