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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Rhode Island Reforms Pass

Per the AP, Rhode Island lawmakers have taken a major step toward strengthening the state's public records law:

Rhode Island lawmakers have endorsed the first major changes to the state's open records law, including hastening their release and specifying the information from arrest records police must make public.

Lawmakers approved the changes Saturday. They would take effect Sept. 1, if accepted by Gov. Don Carcieri.

The proposed law would decrease the time that public agencies have to respond to requests for public records, from 10 days to seven.

It would bar state agencies from requiring those seeking the information to provide personally identifiable details or stating the reason for their request.

The bill lists the basic information that police must release about arrests within 24 hours. It also orders that police release narratives of arrest reports within seven days.

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