Last winter, Susan Webber, who runs the financial blog Naked Capitalism, filed a public records request with CalPERS seeking the fund’s private equity return data. According to Webber, CalPERS didn’t fulfill the request – and so Webber filed a lawsuit to get it.
To update you on the state of play with CalPERS: since we received some financial data in February and March, CalPERS has engaged in foot-dragging. Even though CalPERS said in court filings that it stood ready to provide the data we sought, it has failed to do so. For instance, CalPERS’ Deputy Executive Officer for External Affairs, Robert Glazier, promised in mid April that he would send an important missing spreadsheet the following week. More than six months have passed and CalPERS has yet to provide it.
We have three types of data we are seeking: the spreadsheet mentioned (CalPERS has provided an 627 page image, but under California’s version of FOIA, they are required to provide machine-readable records in data form, but continue to fail to comply), commitment dates (CalPERS has consistently ignored this request) and detailed cash flows (of which CalPERS has only provided partial information; by our count, we are still 351 funds short). So of three requests, for two we have yet to receive any information, and for the third, we have received only partial information.
Photo by Stephen Curtin