In Mass., public financial disclosure reports are not so public

At least 29 states post financial disclosure reports for lawmakers and other public officials on the Web, making it easy to see their investments and potential sources of conflicts with a few clicks. Most other states make the filings readily available for free to those who show up in person.

But not Massachusetts, which has set up a virtual gantlet to see the filings, even though the whole point of collecting the financial information is to inform the public.

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Editorial: A citizens’ guide to the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law

Two spokespeople from the Attorney General’s Office came to the Sharon Community Center on March 26 to hold a free educational forum on the Open Meeting Law. Here is an overview of what Sharon citizens need to know:

The state’s Open Meeting Law (OML) ensures public access to the work being done by boards and commissions by requiring sufficient advanced notice of meetings, open deliberation during those meetings, and public access to those meetings, according to the attorney general’s office.

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Editorial: Open government is worth fighting for

It sounds like something out of a spy novel: clandestine after-hours meetings, burner phones, even encryption. But it isn't. Instead, it's a description of some of the steps that reporters covering the federal government must take to try to protect their sources.

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