Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New excuse to delay public records request

Charles Piller of the Sacramento Bee reports that state and local government officials increasingly are blaming budget cuts and furloughs when they withhold or delay the release of information requested under the state Public Records Act.

The result is a diminished ability for the media to perform their watchdog role – just when downsized programs and government dysfunction make that scrutiny more crucial, Piller writes.

High fees and long delays in responses from agencies in California have weakened the public's right to know, blocking some investigative reports and reducing the scope or timeliness of others, said Bee reporters, other journalists and open-access experts contacted on the eve of "Sunshine Week." Sunshine Week, March 14-20, is an annual effort by the nonprofit, nonpartisan American Society of News Editors to promote open government, freedom of information and the public's right to know.


Anonymous said...

Actually, I don't see anything in Section 6250-70 that gives the government an exception due to lack of staffing.

Anonymous said...

CPRA has pros and cons. The con is that more and more agencies are demanding a formal written request for routine documents. The pro is that a few more agencies are providing the requested documents before CPRA was being widely used.