New bill would require Pittsburgh department heads to give information to City Council

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Pittsburgh City Councilman Ricky Burgess introduced a bill this morning that would reiterate a requirement that department heads provide information to council members.

Shawn Carter, Mr. Burgess' chief of staff, said the requirement is already spelled out in the city's charter and in state law but this bill would make it a requirement under the city's code.

Though Mr. Carter said Mr. Burgess has never had difficulty obtaining information from city departments, other council members have. Mr. Burgess said council is already empowered to fire department heads for cause. Spelling out the requirement in city code would give council the ability to fire department heads for not cooperating with requests for information.

Information that is governed by other laws and statutes -- such as tax records and police investigative records -- would not be subject to the ordinance.

Mr. Burgess said he sponsored today's bill "so we can be better partners with the administration to run a more efficient, effective government." The bill is slated for a preliminary vote next Wednesday.

neigh_city - breaking

Moriah Balingit: mbalingit@post-gazette.com, 412-263-2533 or on Twitter @MoriahBee.


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