Connect with us

As I See It

Governor does welcome about-face on open records



Governor Walker hasn’t seemed much of a friend of openness in government. He had a hand in efforts to exempt state lawmakers from the open records law. He has refused to provide logs of the visitors to the Governor’s residence during his time as a presidential candidate. And he claimed text messages between members of his administration and a big donor seeking state money were “tranistory” and therefore not required to be saved. But perhaps the Governor has had a change of heart. Governor Walker has issued new guidelines for state agencies to follow when presented with open records requests, and this is a good step. The order requires agencies to promptly respond to public records requests. Until now, the timeline for the release of documents has been to release them “whenever practicable.” The Governor says 10 days is enough time to respond to requests for records. Walker is also telling state agencies they should provide electronic copies of records, if they exist, without charging per page fees for copying. When asked for an update on requests, Walker says state agencies should respond within five business days. And he wants state agencies to create a tracking system for records requests so we can measure how well agencies are performing. These steps will help citizens of Wisconsin get the information they are looking for. Walker hasn’t always been a friend of openness in government, but he deserves praise for these latest steps.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *