The Access to Public Records Act is essential to promoting open government and an informed citizenry. Despite updates to the law in 2012, an audit by the ACLU and other groups concerned with transparency in government found the law’s enforcement policies insufficient to ensure compliance from dozens of agencies. In March, the ACLU testified before the House and Senate Judiciary committees in support of comprehensive legislation that, among other things, limited when documents such as arrest reports and correspondence by elected officials could be exempt from release, required public bodies to specifically note the reasons for withholding any document, and allowed courts to impose stronger penalties on those agencies that improperly withhold documents. However, the bills died in committee.
Access to Public Records (H 7601, S 2422)
Representative Robert Craven and Senator Stephen Archambault