Archive for October, 2009

Big Brother is NOT Watching

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

post-1On Tuesday, Councilman Bill Peduto introduced legislation to change the process through which a supervisor may access a city employee’s emails.

Under the proposed legislation, officials would need to go through a 6-step process, including obtaining the approval of both the city solicitor and the director of City Information Systems, in order to access a city employee’s email account. The employee would also have to be notified that their email had been accessed.

City employees currently receive a pop-up window notification when signing onto their computers which warns that information on that computer may be accessed by a third party.

Read the Proposed Legislation


Read more about this initiative:

Pittsburgh Officials to Propose Email Safeguards – Pittsburgh Tribune Review
Peduto Wants New City Email Rules – DUQ News

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New System Proposed by Peduto to Take Auctions Online

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

At yesterday’s City Council meeting, Councilman Bill Peduto introduced legislation that called on the Mayor to ask for proposals for a new online auctioning system for the auctioning of surplus City of Pittsburgh property. ¬†This would allow the City to auction used cars, construction equipment, street furniture, park equipment, and other public works equipment online, which has lead to a 20%-40% increase in sales in municipal governments around the country that have switched to this system.

“Online auctioning is a more transparent and inclusive process than the current live auction system,” said Councilman Peduto. ¬†”The new system also provides the City with an opportunity to increase revenue streams during hard economic times.”

Below is a resolution issued by Councilman Bill Peduto, authorizing and directing the Mayor to issue a request for proposals from private asset redistribution and liquidation management services that can auction surplus City of Pittsburgh property to other government organizations and the general public.

WHEREAS, in 2008, the City of Pittsburgh sold 67 vehicles and 19 other items in auction for a total of $95,290; and

WHEREAS, the City of Tampa, FL, having comparable size to Pittsburgh, sold 536 items in 2008 for a total of over ten times the total starting bids of those items, using a private asset redistribution and liquidation service; and

WHEREAS, the city of Charleston, SC, using a private online asset redistribution service, sold 187 items in 2008 for a total nearly thirty percent higher than the total starting bids; and

WHEREAS, private asset redistribution services have been similarly successful for the cities of Philadelphia PA, Orlando FL, Savannah GA and Myrtle Beach SC; and

WHEREAS, the use of a private asset redistribution and liquidation service can increase the audience of potential bidders, ensure appropriate market values for auction items, and provide an existing marketing program for surplus government items; and

WHEREAS, the online process of many private liquidation services provides a faster, more efficient and more accessible means of auctioning surplus government property.


The Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh is hereby authorized and directed to request proposals for a private online asset redistribution and liquidation service for the City of Pittsburgh.


Even PennDOT participates in this online auction system, as shown by this video clip.

Read more about Councilman Peduto’s proposal in this Pittsburgh Post Gazette article.

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