Mackinac Center, ACLU officials push for greater government transparency

Submitted by LDieringer on Thu, 07/25/2013 - 11:05am

From MLive.com:  Improving local and state government transparency was the driving focus of a Wednesday discussion sponsored by a well-known conservative think tank.

In an effort to address issues with government transparency in Michigan, particularly within the constrains of the Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy hosted a public meeting at Northwood University Wednesday, July 24, as part of its "Open Government Initiative."

The discussion panel included comments from Shelli Weisberg, legislative director for the ACLU of Michigan; Robin Luce Herrmann, general counsel for the Michigan Press Association; Kathy Barks Hoffman, former Associated Press reporter and board member of the Michigan Coalition for Open Government; and Michael J. Reitz, executive vice president of the Mackinac Center.

All of the panelists spoke about difficult situations obtaining information from public bodies throughout the state, including timeliness of responses, high costs of obtaining the information from public bodies or suspecting violations of the Open Meetings Act from school boards or city councils.

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Also see:  Town halls help demystify open records laws and hole government accountable and Should government be more transparent?