Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Response to Public Records article from Gerry Pollet

Rrom Gerry Pollet Please call your legislators and urge them to oppose ALL bills that reduce public access to public records, including efforts to charge for searching for records. 
As a board member of the WA Coalition for Open Government and in my work as an environmental attorney, I have recently documented that many of the agencies claimed by our AG and legislators to be burdened by such costs of providing public records on pending major agency actions to the public (without which the public can not comment) fail to index the records they are relying on for decisions, and fail to keep electronic records in searchable formats - despite state laws requirin both. Then, the agencies complain to the Legislature that they need to charge thousands of dollars to search for the records when requested by citizen groups or individuals who need the same records to intelligently comment on pending proposals! 
If these laws pass, neighborhood groups, environmental groups, citizen watchdogs, and candidates challenging incumbents will lose their most potent tool: public information. 
Gerry Pollet

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