by Max Brantley
Arkansas Lottery Commission spokeswoman Julie Baldridge sent notice to press last night that two members of the commission — Steve Faris and Bruce Engstrom — would be at commission offices around the same time today and, in an abundance of caution about the FOI, she wanted the press to know.
Curious. Commissioner Engstrom now tells me he plans to check on a report of a scheduled 10 a.m. meeting between lottery employees and a private vendor about transferring the lottery’s vendor records to an outside private agency. Engstrom said he wants to know if this action was planned without lottery commission approval, which he believes is required of all contracts, and he also is concerned that transferring such information could put it outside of the reach of the Freedom of Information Act.
Sounds like it might be worth reporters’ attendance, too.
UPDATE: The issue apparently concerns retailers contracts with the lottery, now in the state information system, something that is being proposed to be moved over to Intralot, a lottery games vendor. Engstrom says he's concerned about creating too much reliance on Intralot by consolidation of multiple duties there. Gerard Matthews is on hand for the discussion.
UPDATE II: Go here for Gerard's full report.