3/17/16 – NFOIC Press Release
As in the last three national survey results, NFOIC’s fourth biennial joint survey with the New York-based Media Law Resource Center (MLRC) shows a continuing trend that should be troubling to anyone who supports democratic freedom and open government including access to public institutions. The fourth biennial national open government survey conducted in 4Q2015, was expanded to include members of the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) organization to widen participation to include journalists who are on the front line pursuing government officials and agencies.
The survey also provides a glimpse into the challenges to public institutions and their officials to collect, organize and manage public records. Much of this challenge is coming from new digital forms of public records and how they are being created, classified and retrieved. States in particular also display a lack of consistency in administrative procedures to handle public information. Formal professional standards and increased education and training of public records employees is lacking in most states. And the different branches of government are also in conflict when it comes to legal, economic and political requirements to manage public information in the digital age.