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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida pension fund: Taxpayers' money, state's secrets



Want to find out how the state of Florida invests your money? Try.

Despite a professed goal of increased transparency, the people who manage $156 billion in pension funds and other public money have taken steps to get in line with a law that requires secrecy. The result:

• Taxpayers are kept in the dark about many business decisions of the State Board of Administration, the agency that runs the nation's fourth-largest public pension system for about 1 million current and former public employees, including teachers, police officers and state and county workers. It also manages a fund that pools money from hundreds of Florida towns, counties and school districts.

• No ordinary retiree can monitor dozens of private investments bought with $20 billion of public money.

• The public can't track fees proposed by some law firms. They can't get information from contracts or reviews that could help them decide whether vendors are delivering on their promises. Read more here.

[Last modified: Saturday, April 23, 2011 7:39pm]


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