Friday, September 17, 2010

Kroger's Hoping to Let the Sun Shine In

Posted By on Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 9:26 PM

Oregon Attorney General John Kroger has published a revised, on-line version of the state Public Records and Meetings Manual that he says will help make state government more transparent.

“Changes to the manual reflect new legislation, recent court decisions and a fresh look at previous interpretations of the law,” Kroger said in a news release issued today.

One major change involves “a longstanding legal interpretation that allowed public bodies to take as much time responding to public records requests as they could justify under the nebulous standard of ‘reasonableness.’” The revised manual states that “it is the public’s right of inspection that must be reasonable. Thus, public bodies must make records available as quickly as they reasonably can.” The manual suggests that 10 working days is a reasonable time for making records available in most cases. 

According to the new manual, the attorney general’s office “can examine state agency fees if it appears that the true purpose of the fees is to effectively deny the request rather than recoup costs as the law allows.” Also, the section describing how to appeal a decision to withhold a record has been reorganized to make it “more accurate and, hopefully, easier to follow.”

Kroger said publishing the manual on-line will make it easier and cheaper to update it. The searchable HTML format is “designed to allow users to easily find relevant discussions,” he said. Also, it allows the AG’s office to offer the manual free for “the first time in decades.” A printed version also will be available, but hasn't been issued yet.

Publication of the new manual follows a yearlong “Government Transparency Initiative” that involved meetings statewide in which “hundreds of comments and suggestions” were collected.

“The next step is to draft legislation for the 2011 Legislature to further improve the law and increase transparency in Oregon government,” Kroger’s news release said.

We can hope things will work out that way – but if the legislature runs true to form, it more likely will take the opportunity to carve out more special-interest loopholes in the public meetings and records law.


  • Pin It
    Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by The Source Staff

Latest in The Wandering Eye

  • Moonshine Magic in Bend Still on the Down Low

    Get ready for our great close-up on the home distilling community out next week in our "Best of" issue. We interviewed a mixed bag of legal and anarchist distillers in Bend to find out why distilling is so very, very against the law in one's home.
    • Aug 9, 2012
  • The Eye Wanders Off Into the Sunset

    I’m really sorry to break the bad news to them during this season of peace and goodwill, but after this week the right-wingers in Bend and vicinity won’t have The Wandering Eye to kick around anymore. The decision to stop writing this blog was my own, and it was prompted by several factors.
    • Dec 26, 2010
  • DADT, Gay-Bashing and the "Icky-ness" Factor

    For the past week or so, “Zeo” of the NW Republican blog has had his jock strap in a knot over the prospect of Congress repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rule. To hear Zeo tell it, if DADT is repealed and gays are allowed to serve openly in the US military it will mean the end not only of our armed forces but of America, its economic system and civilization in general.
    • Dec 19, 2010
  • More »

© 2016 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation