Openness remains a challenge for some Oklahoma bodies

As part of a study of states’ willingness to provide public records, graduate students at Marquette University in Milwaukee contacted officials in Oklahoma. The results, alas, were less than encouraging.

The Oklahoman’s Randy Ellis reported recently that 90% of the requests made in Oklahoma were fulfilled. On the surface that appears encouraging — except that those results placed Oklahoma last among the 10 states surveyed.

The students sent requests to half the counties in four of the 10 states, including Oklahoma, and to all of the counties in the other six. Florida, Hawaii, New Jersey, Iowa, Washington and Wisconsin complied fully.

Assistant journalism professor A. Jay Wagner reports that, “Hostility was common in Oklahoma,” while in Mississippi, which ranked next-to-last with 92% compliance, “disinterest was frequent.” (Read more…)