Questionable Expenditures at Maine State Housing Authority (MSHA)

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Dear Friend,

Six months ago, MSHA was asked to disclose the details of vendor payments via a Freedom of Information Access Act request filed by the Maine Heritage Policy Center (MHPC).  On Tuesday, MHPC released the incomplete data provided to it by MSHA.

At tomorrow's Maine Housing board meeting, I expect the commissioners will ask why the vendor payment information does not include dollar amounts, when the payments were made, or why the money was spent.

MSHA is a quasi-independent "instrumentality" of state government.  It has a staff of 140; an annual operating budget of $14 million; and $1.6 billion of outstanding bonds it has sold to fund some of its programs.

Unlike at all other quasi-independent Authorities, the MSHA executive director does not report to or serve at the pleasure of its board.  During the 4-year term appointed by the governor (in this case, Governor Baldacci in 2010), the executive director does not report to any person, committee, or other body.  Currently, there is a bill working its way through the Legislature that would hold the MSHA executive director accountable to the board for wisely spending taxpayer dollars.

Best wishes,

Bruce Poliquin
Maine State Treasurer


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