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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.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Unanswered questions remain in Missouri FOI debate

Since former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt's e-mail controversy of 18 months ago, a new e-mail retrieval system has been implemented in the governor's office but has not been expanded to other offices due to costs, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Hundreds of public officials still maintain that e-mail is not considered public record. It's still not clear what records must be saved, said the court-appointed attorney who oversaw the Blunt investigators' final product. The problem is that the records retention act and the Sunshine Law aren't on the same page.
For 18 months, a cloud of suspicion has blocked out some of the sunshine from the second floor windows of the Missouri Capitol.

Investigators tapped by the attorney general's office tried to determine whether then-Gov. Matt Blunt and his employees were following the public accountability laws that require certain documents to be maintained as open records.

In fact, some laws were being skirted, investigators argued in their final report, which was released this month after more than a year and a half of legal wrangling and political squabbling in which Missouri's Sunshine Law became front page news.
More here.

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