Editorial: Open government: Ella, Dan and John

Once upon a time, Gov. Ella T. Grasso signed into law Connecticut’s pioneering Freedom of Information Act, which established an independent Freedom of Information Commission. This state was in the forefront of the post-Watergate movement for open government. “Secrecy in government is inherently inconsistent with a true democracy,” the General Assembly declared at the time. “The people … do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for them to know.”

But that was long ago, in 1975.

More

Op-Ed: More Government Power To Keep Truth Under Wraps

The people's right to know is, like "the spirit of scientific inquiry," a "search for the truth," wrote Herbert Brucker in his 1949 groundbreaking book "Freedom of Information."

The highly regarded Hartford Courant editor and journalism educator has been credited with coining the phrase "freedom of information." Every state now has freedom of information statutes.

More

UConn Foundation Butts Up against Freedom of Information Act

The University of Connecticut Foundation, which has raised hundreds of millions of dollars from private donors, should be considered a public agency under the state’s Freedom of Information Act, advocates argued at a legislative hearing, according to the Hartford Courant.

The Courant story reports on a bill in the state house that would make the UConn Foundation subject to the same disclosure requirements as regular government agencies and require that its books be inspected by Connecticut’s Auditors of Public Accounts.

More

Probation Officers Seek To Keep Personal Information From Inmates

Probation officers asked lawmakers Wednesday to consider preventing the release of their employment records to people who are under court supervision or incarcerated in the state’s prisons.

Several officers testified at a hearing of the Government Administration and Elections Committee, which has raised a bill that would add an exemption to the Freedom of Information Act for probation officers, shielding their personnel and medical records from inmates and people under court supervision.

More

State gets ‘F’ for lack of public info on medical care

Connecticut is one of 41 states to earn a failing grade from health advocates for lacking public information about the quality of care provided by doctors.

"Consumers should be able to find out if their local primary care physician is delivering good quality care without having to go through hoops," said Francois de Brantes, executive director of the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute in Newtown, which published the report. "Connecticut has no public reporting of physician quality."

More

Editorial: Connecticut should repeal law that weakens FOIA

During the legislative session that begins Thursday, Connecticut’s General Assembly will consider whether to uphold, repeal, scale back or expand exemptions to the state’s Freedom of Information Act that the Assembly recklessly passed last June.

Let us be abundantly clear: The legislature should repeal the exemptions and restore the Freedom of Information Act to its original, best-in-the-nation form, which was passed unanimously by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Ella T. Grasso in 1975.

More

ED: Lining Up To Keep More Things Secret From The Public

Well, no surprise here. Now that the General Assembly has needlessly weakened the state's Freedom of Information Act, a variety of interest groups want to carve out exemptions to the law for themselves.

In a word, no. Bad idea. The public ought to be able to copy public records and attend public meetings and know what public officials are doing. Residents of Connecticut have given lawmakers no reason to weaken the FOI. The solons shouldn't have done it last year, and they shouldn't do it again.

More

Connecticut’s State website to be updated so more user-interactive and business-friendly

The state of Connecticut’s official website will soon undergo a major modernization process under a self-funded plan that is intended to “increase usability, customer service, transparency and access for its visitors,” according to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Shelton-Ct.govWebsiteLogoThe website, www.ct.gov, operates as a portal to every agency in state government and was created almost 20 years ago.

More