Pittsburgh Wins $100,000 Award for Internet Bond Sales Practice

The Innovations in American Government program, sponsored by the Ford Foundation, the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Council for Excellence in Government, recently awarded Pittsburgh $100,000 for a program that enhances the sale of municipal bonds over the Internet.

The program recognizes effective and creative examples of government service. All units of government -- federal, state, local, tribal and territorial -- within the United States are eligible for recognition and awards. Innovations that arise within defense and international agencies are eligible, but only if they have significant domestic policy content. "As in everything else that we have done, from downtown development to industrial site re-use to the management of the city, we have taken risks.... Our risk-taking has brought not only cost savings to the city but has revolutionized bond bidding across the country," said Mayor Tom Murphy.

The electronic commerce auctions were conducted by Pittsburgh's financial adviser, Myles Harrington, and his company, MuniAuction Inc. The city has saved more than $2 million during its previous seven Internet bond offerings, which were cumulatively valued at more than $700 million.

In November, Pittsburgh will issue a $55 million bond using MuniAuction's (www.MuniAuction.com) technology.

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