Nearly two years after City Council and Mayor Nutter approved an ordinance requiring lobbyists to register and disclose their expenses, there's still no computer software to make the program work the way it was intended.
The city Board of Ethics and the Nutter administration's technology chief, Abel Ebeid, say that Perficient Inc., a St. Louis firm, was unable to deliver on a $227,000 contract to handle lobbyist registration and disclosure statements and put the information on a public city website.
For now, the Board of Ethics is providing lists of lobbyists, lobbying firms, and the various interests they represent, ranging alphabetically from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University to Zipcar, accessible through the city's website at www.phila.gov/ethicsboard.
By May 30, firms are scheduled to file reports on how much they spent trying to influence city officials during the first three months of the year. But instead of being downloadable and searchable via the Internet, the Board of Ethics says it will try to scan each page and post them on its website, until better software can be bought, borrowed or developed by the city itself. — Bob Warner