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Open Government Groups Criticize General Treasurer for Selective Release of Hedge Fund Information

Posted: August 08, 2013|Category: Open Government

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Four open government organizations have called on RI General Treasurer Gina Raimondo to more fully release documents about the state’s hedge fund investments that were recently provided in heavily redacted form to the Providence Journal. The organizations – the ACLU of RI, Common Cause RI, the RI Press Association, and the League of Women Voters of RI – sent a letter to Raimondo saying they were “troubled” by her office’s response to the Journal’s public records request for the “due diligence” reports prepared by the state’s hedge fund advisor Cliffwater, and for certain other hedge fund documents.

The letter takes issue with the Treasurer’s office for refusing to release the reports in unredacted form even though they were distributed at public meetings of the Rhode Island State Investment Commission, which Raimondo chairs.

The organizations’ letter further raises concerns that the decisions regarding the disclosure or redaction of certain documents were made by the hedge funds, not by Raimondo. The groups also object that her office relied on contractual obligations with the hedge funds in withholding records, rather than determining that the documents were confidential under the Access to Public Records Act itself.

The letter concludes by asking the General Treasurer to fully release the “due diligence” reports, and to clarify her position on the role of contracts and third parties in determining what records are and are not available under APRA.

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