Local governments hide public records, face few consequences

While much media attention is focused on federal government secrecy, secretive practices of state and local governments often get less scrutiny but frequently have a more immediate impact on communities.

There are no definitive national studies of the scope of state and local secrecy, but the studies, surveys and anecdotal evidence that do exist strongly suggest state and local government secrecy has increased in the past 10 years. While there are many reasons for this, it has coincided with a decline in local news coverage, technological advances that governments haven’t been able to afford and an increase in outsourcing of government functions to private entities.