Editorial from The Washington Post:
ACTIONS SPEAK louder than words, so it’s pretty telling that the D.C. Council, which professes to want transparency in government, has to be dragged into court over a specious policy that allows public business conducted on personal e-mail accounts to be shielded from disclosure. When will the council realize that only by opening up government can it show it has nothing to hide?
The D.C. Open Government Coalition filed a lawsuit in D.C. Superior Court this month that challenges the council’s position that it doesn’t have to disclose e-mails sent to or received by council members through their personal, nongovernmental e-mail accounts, even if the correspondence involves official government business. The suit follows the council’s denial of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request this year by the coalition on the grounds that the council does not have active control or access to those accounts.
Such reasoning, as coalition board member James A. McLaughlin pointed out, represents “a massive loophole in the District’s public-records law. …