New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas has created an Open Government Division within his office to beef up enforcement of New Mexico’s freedom-of-information laws, and though the process has had a few hiccups, transparency advocates are optimistic that the office will be more aggressive.
The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government has long complained that the office, through several administrations, has never prioritized enforcement of the state’s laws guaranteeing access to public records and meetings.
In a 2015 Center for Public Integrity report, New Mexico earned a failing grade for providing public access to information. CPI’s analysis found government agencies did not generally provide records in a timely manner and that members of the public had little recourse to force their release. Continue…