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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.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

New Englanders Favor Open Government

A recent poll commissioned by The New England First Amendment Coalition (NEFAC) and conducted by the University of New Hampshire's Survey Center shows the vast majority of New Englanders believe having open access to the workings of government is important to citizen and favor strengthening laws to protect access, such as making government agencies pay any legal bills necessary to open public records.  

Among the findings:
  • One in four respondents strongly believe that public business in their community is done out of public view.
  • The majority in the six-state region believe the news media seeks out public information useful to citizens. But one in four people polled disagreed, 14 percent strongly.
  • Most citizens have not asked for a public record in the last 12 months and, of those who did, 87 percent said they got what they asked for. 
  • A plurality of respondents said they were familiar with the workings of their state's open records laws.
  • On the whole, New Englanders are satisfied with the response of state and local government to citizen requests for access, but they remain skeptical of government motives.
Get the full report here and more from NFOIC here. 

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