Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh orders quick response to requests for public records

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s chief of staff ordered top city officials to respond to a public records request within 48 hours after the Globe reported it took the administration more than two months to provide basic payroll data.

Chief of staff Daniel Koh sent an e-mail Friday to the city’s Cabinet chiefs and department heads.

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State government asked to provide nearly every email ever sent

Open government experts say he's asking for the impossible. Tim Clemans, a local computer programmer, has requested almost every email from every state agency ever sent, which some fear could push the public records act to the breaking point.

Email is one of the main ways state government workers communicate. Clemans wants the public to have access to the messages those workers send.

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Mich. school district allows union, employees to exclude material from FOIA requests

From Michigan Capitol Confidential:

Grandville Public Schools is breaking the law by agreeing to a union contract provision that allows teachers and their union to have a say about what is released in Freedom of Information Act requests, according to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s legal expert.

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Work sessions endanger transparency in operations of Miss. government bodies

From The Republic:

GULFPORT, Miss. — The Grenada Star newspaper recently uncovered a plan by city and county officials to charter a bus and head 60 miles to Oxford to spend the day discussing business at a club near the town square.

The newspaper in the northwest Mississippi town began asking questions and ran an editorial about the retreat involving the Grenada City Council, Grenada County Board of Supervisors and others.

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Fighting state-government transparency

From Thomson Reuters News & Insight:

At a time when advocates are pushing for more transparency in government, two states are fighting in court to limit citizens' access to public documents.

Virginia and Tennessee are defending their local versions of the Freedom of Information Act which allow them to respond only to public records requests from in-state residents — and deny requests from out-of-staters.

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