(800) 995-8696

Tennessee senate passes new transparency and open government-focused bill

March 20, 2013

As part of Sunshine Week, the Tennessee Senate passed Bill 461 on March 14, 2013, which requires newspapers that publish government notices to make them available for free on the internet. According to the Shelbyville Times-Gazette, these announcements can range from meeting agendas to foreclosure notices, and they must all be published on the Tennessee Press Association repository website as well.

Open and transparent government efforts help state, county and local offices improve their standing with the public and enhance citizen engagement at the same time. In turn, this helps ensure that more positive decisions are made by constituents while the public gains a better understanding of the issues and policies being discussed. Tools like agenda management software can help local offices provide the public with quick and easy access to information on a regular basis.

States need to invest in their open government efforts and provide citizens with relevant data or else they will risk losing the respect and attention of their constituents rapidly. Ultimately, these efforts will go a long way toward improving overall operations and ensuring that the public is aware of how tax dollars are being spent.