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Limiting open government like driving with no headlights

February 6, 2013

Open and transparent government initiatives are an essential part of any level of government today. With widespread access to the internet and computers, it is the responsibility of every town, county, city and state to provide records, from budget information to meeting minutes, to the public upon request, yet many have fees and stipulations that limit or control that access. Location, reproduction and processing fees slow down the process, and some governing bodies allow the records custodian to limit access by controlling what information is redacted.

These limits and other proposed ones simply slow down the process and make open government not so open after all. According to the Marshfield News-Herald, it is important for citizens to not allow their local governments to take a step backwards. However, town, city and county governments can invest in technology solutions to improve open government strategies and reduce the hassle of providing records without limiting access.

With agenda management software and other tools council meetings can be more easily organized and recorded for archiving, improving overall record keeping while making it easier to upload that data to easily accessed public terminals or websites.