Indianapolis is increasing its disclosure with a new website and annual report that provide detailed overviews of the city's debt and borrowing practices.
The website is officially the site of Indianapolis Local Public Improvement Bond Bank, which acts as the city's borrowing arm.
The bond bank launched Monday, along with a 153-page debt report that is the first in an annual bond and note review.
The move comes as issuer disclosure is a rising concern for municipal ratings agencies, regulators and investors.
"The idea is to reach investors and increase transparency," said Greg Clark, the bond bank's executive director and general counsel.
Clark said the move comes in light of the SEC's Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative and ratings agencies' increased scrutiny of disclosure.
"It's something we feel is characteristic of a triple-A credit," he said.
Clark said the bond bank will even include information on direct placements, a typically obscure area that is also getting more attention from ratings agencies.
"We're taking the initiative on something that we feel soon will be a requirement for disclosure purposes," he said, adding the bank will also post all direct placement information on the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board's EMMA website.
Massachusetts and its investor web site, which has won widespread praise, was Clark's main model, he said.
The new bond bank site will include details of all debt, recent and upcoming deals, finance teams, official statements and requests for proposals among other items.
The bond bank is also releasing details of the city's tax increment financing districts, including a large downtown district that is linked to many of the city's bonds and has sparked controversy over the last few years.
"This way the bond bank can say, Hey, here's all the information, here's the debt and how we're handling it," Clark said. "It allows all individuals, from sophisticated investors to John Doe Taxpayer, to understand."
In addition to the revamped web site, the bond bank is publishing the first in an annual report on the debt of the city and related entities.
The new Bond and Note report, compiled by Crowe Horwath LLP, is a detailed look at the obligations of the bond bank and its entities.
Clark said he hopes bankers make use of the new info as well.
"Hopefully they can begin the process of brainstorming ideas of how to help us save money," he said.