The 360-degree FOI audit project intends to demonstrate the importance of data to evidence-based decision making. The audit is being conducted in a state to determine compliance and performance related to a series of public record requests. Information collected will address ease of access, fees, response time, and accuracy of the information provided to the petitioners.
Through surveys and interviews, the audit will seek additional information about the agency’s FOI policies and practices to identify administrative procedures (and the rationale behind them) and costs to comply with the state’s FOI laws and associated responsibilities. NFOIC will explore the reasoning surrounding policies and procedures and their impact on decision making to distinguish between ideological-based decision making and evidence-based policy making.
Evidence-based decision making should yield policies that effectively deal with problems that are shaped by evidence rather than responses to short-term social or political pressures.
The 360 FOI audit should provide a template and criteria for conducting similar open government audits in other states and build upon a database for future use. NFOIC will work with its state affiliates and other academic and open government partners to compile and present the findings during 2018 Sunshine Week.