‘States of Denial’ report: Exemptions pose greatest threat to government transparency

Lax enforcement, high fees, hostility also erode ‘sunshine laws,’ public’s right to know Contact: David Cuillier, NFOIC Board president Phone: 520-248-6242   Email: nfoic@nfoic.org GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA, March 15, 2021 — The greatest threats to government transparency today are continued secrecy provisions added to state public record laws, particularly exemptions intended to protect personal privacy and police information. That’s according to open…

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Massachusetts police abuse exemption in public-records law, reform panel is told

A number of exemptions allow public agencies to keep secret routine documents that are easily accessible in most other states. Now, for the first time in more than four decades, Massachusetts lawmakers are in the midst of revamping the state’s weak public records law. As part of the overhaul, a state working group has been charged with reviewing and evaluating the way in which law enforcement agencies have used public records exemptions and will recommend changes to the Legislature by year’s end.

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Proposed bills offer secrecy provisions in Arkansas

Arkansas lawmakers are considering new secrecy provisions for the State Capitol Police, some attorney-client relationships and Arkansas Community Correction.

The Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee approved the proposals Thursday, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. The bills are among at least 10 removing coverage of records under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

Transparency concerns have been raised by the Arkansas Press Association, which represents the Democrat-Gazette and newspapers across the state.

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