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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, August 10, 2009

Wash. organization asks governor's office to reconsider records denial

The Evergreen Freedom Foundation of Washington is asking Gov. Gregoire to reconsider the decision to deny releasing documents related to the governor's executive order concerning climate change. The EFF requested all documents related to the executive order's drafting and implementation, but the governor's office is withholding 48 documents and citing "executive privilege" and "deliberative process" as reasons. However, the EFF says there's no "executive privilege" exemption in the Public Records Act, and because the executive order has already been published the "deliberative" exemption doesn't apply.
Does the governor's executive privilege exempt her from the state's Public Records Act? Looks like we'll find out.
Climate change was a hot topic during the 2009 legislative session. Gov. Gregoire had requested legislation that ultimately died in the Senate. Not to be stopped, the governor issued Executive Order 09-05 to address climate change. Curious to see the backstory, EFF filed a request for documents related to the executive order's drafting and implementation. We've received many records, but the governor's office has refused to release 48 documents. The denial cites several reasons, including "executive privilege" and "deliberative process."
There's a problem with this denial. There is no "executive privilege" exemption in the Public Records Act. And once the executive order was published the "deliberation" exemption no longer applies. (This isn't the first time Gov. Gregoire has claimed the phantom "executive privilege" exemption.)
More here.

1 comment:

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