TCOG: Office of Open Records Counsel finalizes model public records policy

The Office of Open Records Counsel has published a new model public records policy that can be used by government entities in establishing records policies, which are required by law this year.

A new law mandates that all government entities in the state establish a public records policy by July 1, 2017. The policies must include the name of entity’s public records request coordinator and include information about requesting public records and any fees.


Tenn. attorney general’s ruling on public records relevant in school superintendent search

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III served up a timely reminder last week for the state’s public officials when he issued an opinion that they cannot skirt open-government laws by outsourcing essential governmental functions.

In an advisory opinion issued Friday, Slatery wrote that any records obtained by a third party hired to conduct searches for new schools’ superintendents must be made available for public inspection and its meetings might be subject to the Open Meetings Act.


Frank Gibson: Tennessee ‘sunshine’ dimmed by one watchdog’s assessment

Opinion from Frank Gibson via The Leaf Chronicle:  It will not come as news to anyone that Tennessee’s public meetings and open records laws fall in the lower ranks when compared to the open government laws of the other 49 states.

Now a new study by the Better Government Association that claims Tennessee’s separate government conflict of interest and whistleblower protection laws rank higher than our “sunshine” and public records (Freedom of Information) statutes.