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Michigan proposes changes to state FOIA

April 10, 2013

Michigan is seeking to amend its Freedom of Information Act in order to enhance open and transparent government efforts. According to the Livingston Daily, lawmakers in the state are driving forward changes that would improve access to public documents and records, helping to enhance citizen engagement and transparency in the state government.

Currently, Michigan's FOIA requires government offices to comply with information requests within 10 days, but the new bills would limit agencies' abilities to charge more than 10 cents a page for those requests. Additionally, the state government would have to create a task force designated solely to investigating FOIA complaints, according to the news source.

"Government needs to be totally and completely transparent. Nothing should be hidden," Susan Walters-Steinacker, a transparency and open government export, told the source.

One way for government offices to enhance transparency and keep records management and FOIA request costs low is to invest in high-quality legislative management software. These solutions will provide offices with tools to simplify information organization and storage, improve response time to requests and create infrastructure to implement public portals for faster access to data.