National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

Online public records access a mixed bag

From Columbia Basin Herald:

MOSES LAKE – Living in a digital age has its benefits. The internet puts the information a user wants virtually at their fingertips. People have immediate access to scores from the latest game, the stock market and the news, among a myriad of other information available on the web.

But what about public records? Can the average citizen pull up minutes from the latest city council meeting just as easily as they could their local weather?

The answer to that question, unfortunately, depends, said Toby Nixon, president of the Washington Coalition for Open Government. While federal and state agencies often provide access to digital records on their websites, Nixon said smaller local agencies might not offer that convenience.