Is it legitimate for a public institution to stall public record act requests in the heat of ongoing media coverage of a controversy?
I suspect plenty of crisis management consultants would say absolutely yes. Yet in California we have a Public Records Act intended to protect the public interest and ensure transparency.
The spirit of that act means the answer should be a resounding “No.” Continue…
Read More… from California’s Public Records Act intended to ensure openness, not provide excuses
The Washington Supreme Court has upheld a $502,000 penalty for Public Records Act violations by the state Department of Labor and Industries, in a ruling that affirms judges can calculate such fines based on each page of a withheld record.
Read More… from Washington justices uphold $502,000 public records fine against state
A Santa Fe district judge’s ruling on Wednesday afternoon awarded an education group additional money in a lawsuit against the state’s Public Education Department.
The ruling comes after First Judicial District Judge Sarah Singleton awarded damages to National Education Association New Mexico (NEA-NM) after the group accused PED of violating the Inspection of Public Records Act, or IPRA. Continue…
Read More… from New Mexico ordered to pay legal fees to union in open records case
Sometimes the First Amendment guarantees access to public records (generally limited to court records). Often Freedom of Information Acts and Public Records Acts are seen as fulfilling broader First Amendment values, by facilitating speech about how the government operates. But in Thursday's Roe v. Anderson (W.D. Wash. Oct. 23, 2014), a federal district judge relied on the First Amendment to block a state public records request.
Read More… from First Amendment vs. freedom of information law
There is the goose, of course, but there's also the gander, an old clichÈ goes: What's good for one ought to be the same for the other. But let's not confuse them when discussing the duplicity of California's Legislature when it comes to transparency.
The Legislature, of course, passes laws that affect other branches of government as well as itself. As the state struggles with the archaic Public Records Act (PRA), with its dozens of exemptions, weak disclosure deadlines and lack of enforcement, lawmakers only nibble around its edges.
Read More… from Thomas Peele Watchdog Column: Waiting for transparency from Legislature? Don’t hold your breath