Auditor: Public trust at stake as Oregon agencies bungle records requests

Oregon government agencies may be jeopardizing public trust with slow responses to more complex public records requests and inconsistent use of exemptions, according to a state audit report released Tuesday.

The audit is part of the fallout from an influence peddling scandal involving Gov. John Kitzhaber and First Lady Cylvia Hayes. Auditors recommended that the state create an ombudsman position to “serve as an intermediary between the public and state agencies on complex records requests.”

“The public and the press have a right to see how their government operates to serve Oregonians,” Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins said in a statement. “This audit demonstrates that state agencies need to improve consistency and develop strategies to better respond to public records requests of all sizes. We must improve the public’s trust in Oregon government.” Continue…