Monday, February 25, 2013

Oklahoma Sunshine ’13: Fighting for an Open Government

As Gov. Mary Fallin claims privileges for secrecy, two states provide opposing models for public access to a governor's emails and other correspondence.
In Louisiana, the Jindal administration's broad interpretation of "deliberative process" has spread outside his office to be used as a justification for withholding records on controversial and politically sensitive topics. In contrast, Florida's governor created an online system that releases email by him and his top staff members.
At FOI Oklahoma's Sunshine Week Conference on March 9, experts from Louisiana and Florida will discuss how these differing approaches to transparency affect what the public knows about the formulation of state policies.
Also on the program:
Oklahomans have limited options when officials wrongly deny access to a record or meeting. But other states in 2012 gave the public someone to go to for help.
Maine's first public access ombudsman and the chairman of Iowa's new Public Information Board will explain their roles in making government accessible and give advice on creating an appeals process in Oklahoma that doesn't require going to court.
The conference will be at OU's Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, 395 W. Lindsey St., Norman.
March 6 is the advance deadline for registration.

Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
OSU School of Media & Strategic Communications


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Differing interpretations of law and policy are welcome. Personal attacks and character assassinations will be rejected.