University is not above the law, should honor transparency, Oklahoma coalition leader says

The executive director of Freedom of Information Oklahoma is calling on the University of Oklahoma to be more transparent after the school refused to release reports regarding donor data and allegations of sexual misconduct by a former university president. “The University of Oklahoma has neither the responsibility nor the right to determine what is in…

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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…

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Opinion: Transparency crucial in state contracting

Given the large shortfall facing lawmakers this year, one might think they would try to reduce potential waste, mismanagement and corruption regarding expenditure of taxpayer dollars. Instead, lawmakers passed a bill that would have reduced oversight of some multimillion-dollar contracts.

Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed the bill recently, and deserves credit for demanding greater accountability in government contracting.

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Oklahoma: Watchdog sues Trump EPA pick to disclose contact with companies

A media watchdog group filed suit on Tuesday to force U.S. President Donald Trump's pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency to release records detailing his communications with energy companies ahead of a Senate vote to confirm his nomination.

The lawsuit was filed in Oklahoma court by the Center for Media and Democracy and accuses Scott Pruitt, who is Oklahoma's attorney general as well as Trump's nominee to become the top U.S. environmental regulator, of violating the state's Open Records Act by failing to release those emails to the public.

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OK: Governor wins right to continue fighting open records case

An Oklahoma County Judge ruled in favor of Governor Mary Fallin in one of the lawsuits filed against her and her actions regarding providing open records.

The ACLU of Oklahoma is representing two parties in a lawsuit and asked a judge for summary judgement in their favor after a local journalist and an Oklahoma City advocacy group had been waiting more than 900 days for records they requested from the governor’s office.

Continue…

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Oklahoma Joe: Government transparency must improve

This has nothing to do with whether Oklahoma Rep. Dan Kirby is innocent of sexual harassment, as he claims. This has nothing to do with whether University of Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon deserves a second chance after a video showed him punching a woman who had slapped him.

This has everything to do with our right to know what transpires in a public setting or how our taxpayer dollars are being spent.

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OK: Judge will decide if governor justified in 900+ day delay in records cases

The government serves the people of Oklahoma and the law says the people have a right to know how and why the government makes its decisions.

“That means being able to look at records and if we see government doing something we don't think it ought to be doing, reacting to that and that means at the ballot box,” said Brady Henderson, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma. The ACLU of Oklahoma is representing two groups suing Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin for failing to provide records under the Oklahoma Open Records Act.

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OK: Supreme Court declines to hear appeal in open records case; city will owe fees

On Sept. 12, the Oklahoma Supreme Court denied the City of Claremore’s petition to appeal a ruling that the city violated the Oklahoma Open Records Act.

The city will now owe additional attorneys’ fees to the lawfirm of Ward, Lee & Coats, P.L.C.

In July 2014, Rogers County District Court heard testimony related to an open records act lawsuit filed by Ward, Lee & Coats, P.L.C against the city, for failure to provide documents in a reasonable amount of time.

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Oklahoma bill to establish open records online portal nears governor’s desk

An Oklahoma bill to set up a new online portal for open records requests and expand the number of documents available on the state’s open data portal in the process is nearly ready to head to Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk.

Rep. Josh Cockroft and Sen. Nathan Dahm’s H.B. 3142 passed the Senate last week (after House lawmakers approved it in March), and on Monday, the bill headed back to the House so legislators can consider its amendments. Should they give it the green light, it will need only Fallin’s signature to become law.

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