Report finds noncompliance with revised R.I. open records law

Two years after Rhode Island revised its open records law, compliance with the new rules is spotty, enforcement is rare and a culture of indifference, ìif not outright hostility,î prevails in the state, a newly released report says.

ìThe reality on the ground in Rhode Island is far different from what was hoped for when the legislation passed,î according to ìAccess Limited,î the report produced by Access/RI, a coalition of First Amendment advocates, and MuckRock, a Boston-based group that works with journalists and citizens to obtain and analyze public records.

In June 2012, when Governor Chafee signed the changes in the Access to Public Records Act into law, open government advocates and politicians said employment contracts would be public; a new public-versus-private 'balancing test' would result in the release of previously unavailable government records; frontline workers would be trained in the new law, and the 10-day government response deadline would be enforced. Continue>>>