States Get Failing Grades on FOI Responsiveness

 

The Better Government Association and National Freedom of Information Coalition issued a white paper in May 2008 that gives 38 out of 50 states an “F” grade in overall responsiveness to FOI requests. The results of the study were published by Todayscandidates.com (see blog).

This study  gave Wisconsin a grade of “F,” so it is perhaps not surprising that  96 percent of Wisconsinites who responded to a recent survey conducted by the Midwest Democracy Network “expressed support for keeping government transparent and honest. Wisconsin citizens favored right-to-know laws more than any other proposal for making government work better,” reported a Wisconsin State Journal editorial on July 8, 2008.

Fpr the following NFOIC FOI-related white papers, visit the following link: http://www.nfoic.org/resources/white_papers.html

States failing FOI responsiveness — The Better Government Associationand the National Freedom of Information Coalition have united to review the recourse afforded citizens in the public records laws of all 50 states, and the conclusions make for some relentlessly depressing reading.

Federal Controls on State Information Disclosure — Never before has the clash between an individual’s privacy and the public’s right to access been more apparent, or more misunderstood. The National Freedom of Information Coalition highlights that debate with the release of a new report examining public access to state records. The report, “Federal Controls on State Information Disclosure: FERPA, HIPAA and DPPA,” by attorney and FOI expert Harry Hammitt, will be released to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government at its Nov. 17 conference.

Privatization: Its Impact on Public Record Access —  In this, the first of a series of working papers initiated by the NFOIC, Harry examines how state legislatures and the courts have dealt with keeping public information accessible as privatization has threatened to change the freedom of information landscape.

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