(800) 995-8696

Limited open government isn't very open at all

March 5, 2013

Transparency and open government efforts are a critical consideration for any office, from the state senate to a town council. However, limiting transparency in any way practically eliminates the goals of open government and undoes any previous work done on such an initiative.

According to the Voice of San Diego, such issues have currently come to light with the city's own open government laws. Donna Frye, head of the city's open government department, has undertaken efforts to have reports make public that have been struck down on several occasions. The reports in question do not fall under the jurisdiction of the city mayor's office, and as such they can only be requested for public accessibility, not demanded.

"It's not that there's not an interest," Frye told the news source. "It's just there's a hundred other things going on that take precedence over getting in a fight with the city attorney over the disclosure of two documents that the city auditor hasn't even seen."

Ultimately, public accessibility to government records is a matter of law. However, by investing in high-quality information management tools to improve the overall organization and ease of storage of related data, city officials can eliminate a significant amount of red tape and simplify the process.