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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.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sun isn't shining brightly in Midwestern states

In honor of Sunshine Week, the Citizen Advocacy Center released a study on open-government laws in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The research shows that open-government laws are "sporadically enforced," training for state employees on these policies is poor, and citizens are not provided with opportunities to participate rather than just attend meetings. Reports are available for each of the five states on the Midwest Democracy Network Web site, linked below.
While every state in the nation has laws that require public access to government records and meetings, in five Midwestern states that were recently analyzed, documents are often kept secret and doors can remain tightly closed.

According to a study released Wednesday by the Citizen Advocacy Center in celebration of Sunshine Week (March 15-21), open government laws in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota have systemic barriers that chill public participation and access to government, which weakens our democratic system designed to be by, for and of the people.

More here.

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