Secrecy against fund founder's intentions

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, March 20, 2006

I am dismayed to find that the Alaska Permanent Fund's investors are arguing to keep the public in the dark with what they are doing with your money. Shortly after his death five years ago in papers all across the state, my father, Hugh Malone, was recognized as the "father" of the permanent fund.

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In creating the fund he held true to the idea that the wealth from Alaska's natural resources belonged to the people of Alaska. Inherent in that ideal is the notion that those charged with the care of the public's money are accountable to the public. Allowing the fund's investors to keep secret how they invest the public's money sets the fund down a dangerous path. Once the public loses their oversight on their money, it is gone for good.

Transparency in public policy is one of my father's best legacies in the state of Alaska. I have spent this five-year anniversary reviewing some of his writing and works, remembering the public outflow of gratitude for his work, the statewide sense of loss at his passing, noting the current and former legislators from both sides of the isle who spoke at his wake and imagining how he would feel about the state of affairs today. One thing is certain, having the permanent fund managers sit in the Hugh Malone Board Room at their headquarters in Juneau, debating an investment strategy that limits the public's oversight of their money, goes against the entire core principle that created the fund in the first place.

Rory Malone

Monpelier, Vt.

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