(800) 995-8696

Washington seeks transparency experts

September 19, 2013

In a move that sets a shining example for any town, city or county council in transparency and open government, Washington state has announced plans to elect a full-time ombudsman to focus entirely on the state's sunshine laws. According to the Tri-City Herald, State Attorney General Bob Ferguson made the announcement, following traditional appointments for the job, which was reduced to a part-time position in 2008.

"In the interest of promoting open and transparent government, I have decided to invest in a full-time open government ombudsman position that serves the public, media and government agencies on open government issues," Ferguson said in a statement, the news source reported. "Government is better served when the public is informed and able to engage in our democracy - and government agencies better serve the people when they fully understand and follow open government laws."

The position, focusing on transparency laws and improvements, would be an excellent one for any local town, county or city to consider as well, along with improved technology to support this role. With a dedicated open government expert on the payroll, local leaders can improve their own adherence to the guidelines put in place by the federal administration and ensure they are meeting public expectations for data and records access.