Editor's Note

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, September 27, 2007

New Jersey Report: We Need FOI Reform

From Newsday:

New Jersey needs to do more to make government records available to the public, a report released on Wednesday found.

The report by the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government says state open public records laws need to be strengthened and the state needs to become more committed to releasing information and providing more money and staffing to a state council that decides open records disputes.

"People throughout this state feel the system is broken," said NJFOG President Beth Mason. "They are either unable to access critical public records or the costs are so expensive as to make them inaccessible."

NJFOG includes organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union, Common Cause and the League of Women Voters.

Mitchell Pearlman, a Connecticut lawyer and former executive director of Connecticut's Freedom of Information Commission who was commissioned to write the report, said New Jersey historically has lagged behind other states when it comes to releasing government records.

"The governor must make clear to his agency heads that they are expected to ensure that a culture of maximum openness and transparency is maintained within their respective agencies and that each agency held is held accountable for effective implementation," Pearlman said.

The NJFOG report is here. It's a good read...nice work, NFOIC Board Member Pearlman!

No comments: