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Privatization panel meets in private

Dave Davies relays the latest word on Gov. Corbett's privatization panel:

Our friends at report that Gov. Corbett's Advisory Council on Privatization and Innovation had a meeting earlier this week which the public wasn't notified of and the media weren't invited to, but which lobbyists somehow knew about and attended.

"They're carrying privatization too far when they meet in private to talk about public assets," said Tim Potts, president of Democracy Rising PA, according to the Capitolwire report.

You'll recall that when the panel was announced, we expressed concern about the fact that it included several Corbett contributors who could stand to benefit from privatization:

Of the panel's 24 members, 17 have made campaign donations to Corbett. And several are executives from companies that could benefit from privatization.

The Governor's Office announced yesterday that council members will have to abstain from any decisions in which they have a financial interest. But that doesn't mean their businesses can't get contracts for outsourced government services; it just means they can't vote on who gets those contracts.

There's also no pay-to-play prohibition preventing campaign contributors from getting contracts, or limiting the circumstances under which they can get them.

Obviously the proof about this panel will be in the pudding, but any recommendations it makes will warrant a very careful look.

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