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Monday, November 09, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - "Secrecy, corruption and conflicts of interest pervade state governments"

That is the heading to this lengthy story in USA Today by Nicholas Kusnetz, Center for Public Integrity. There is much of note in the story (Indiana received a grade of D), including several references to abuse of email:

[I]n New Mexico, lawmakers passed a resolution in 2013 declaring that their emails are exempt from public records laws — a rule change that did not require the governor’s signature. * * *

In January, The Wichita Eagle reported that Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget director had used his private email address to send details of a proposed budget to the private email accounts of fellow staff members and to a pair of lobbyists. He later said he did so only because he and the rest of the staff were home for the holidays. In May, Brownback acknowledged that he, too, used a private email account to communicate with staff, meaning his correspondence was not subject to the state’s public records laws. A state council is studying how to close the loophole. Court cases in California are examining a similar question.

Cuillier said that in most states, courts or others have determined that discussions of public business are subject to disclosure, no matter whether the email or phone used was public or private. But the debate is indicative of a larger problem, and it reveals public records laws as the crazy old uncle of government statutes: toothless, antiquated appendages of a bygone era.

Here is the Indiana grading.

Here is the Investigation's homepage.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 9, 2015 11:13 AM
Posted to Indiana Government