City of Lansing violates Freedom of Information Act
June 15, 2017
On March 4 of this year, I sent a Freedom of Information Act request to Lansing's city attorney:
The above wasn't my only FOIA request. On March 3, I sent this one:
In this case, I got a prompt reply from the city attorney's office saying the Human Resources department told them the reports were not yet complete, but would be published in April. I checked back on April 17 and was told HR believed they'd be completed in the first half of May.
Unlike those for pensions, which are done annually, actuarial valuations of retiree healthcare benefits are done every 2 years. The last ones were dated February 2015 and were based on information as of December 31, 2013.
On May 11, I attended a meeting of the Financial Health Team and picked up a copy of Segal Consulting's Retiree Health Plan Analysis. In that report was a list of documents "reviewed and evaluated" by Segal for their analysis. The list included the actuarial valuations of retiree healthcare benefits as of January 1, 2016. Later that day, I told the city attorney's office about the report reference and was told that the reports were currently being finalized and would be ready in 3 weeks.
It may be true that the reports used by Segal had not been finalized. The other reports on their list had actual dates as "prepared" dates, but for the retiree health care valuations, the prepared date was "XXX 2017." Still, if Segal had an unfinalized copy early enough to use in preparing their May 11 report, it is hard to believe it is still not finalized as of June 15.
The failure to deliver on these requests seems to be the fault of the Finance and HR departments, not the city attorney's office. However, you'd think the city attorney would insist on compliance. After the disaster that was Janene McIntyre, there was hope that we'd have a strong, principled city attorney in Jim Smiertka.
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