When he was running for governor last year, Charlie Baker called on the state to post the work experience for all new hires on the Internet to help dispel concerns about patronage.
But nearly a year after taking office, Baker has yet to take that step — and his staff recently rejected a public records request for copies of new employees' resumes.
"Baker needs to explain his broken promise to voters on transparency," said Massachusetts Democratic spokesman Pat Beaudry in a statement. "This leaves voters wondering — who is he trying to protect, and what else is he hiding from taxpayers?"
Massachusetts state agencies already post job openings on the Web. But while campaigning for governor, Baker proposed doing more to assure the public the process is fair.
"The state posts all their jobs online and it's available for everybody to see," he said in an interview with WCVB-TV in July 2014. "But the state doesn't post who got the job, what their resume says and whether or not they were recommended by someone else. I think the state ought to do that. I think that would help a lot."
The campaign also issued a similar press release at the time that said agencies should be required to post workers' "relevant experience."
Baker's communications director, Tim Buckley, said the state hopes to begin posting the information early next year.
"No such system exists in state government," he said. "We have to develop this from the bottom up."
He noted that the administration has often provided journalists with biographical information on appointments when asked.
Meanwhile, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development rejected a request from a Democratic Party researcher last month who asked for the resumes of all of the agency's new employees. The agency cited workers' right to privacy.
The Secretary of State's office, which is charged with overseeing the publicly records law, has previously said agencies are not required to provide resumes in their entirety because they fall under an exemption for "personnel" records. But the office said some resume information, such as degrees and certifications related to their jobs, might be public. And the Democratic Party pointed out that Baker himself has proposed releasing some of the resume information on his own.
Normally, even when documents contain some information that is confidential, agencies are supposed to black out those sections and release the rest of the documents. However, in this case, Buckley said the department decided to reject the researcher's request for resumes because it assumed the researcher wanted the employees' resumes in full — and if he wanted only the public sections of the documents, he never wrote back to clarify.
"Don't you feel that the requester should have followed up for portions of the resumes?" Buckley asked.