Tag: open records

Open Sesame: Bill Would Give People More Power to Access Government Records

The Alabama Legislature will consider a proposed overhaul of the state’s Open Records Act this week.

A bill sponsored by Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, and Rep. Chris Pringle, R-Mobile, would establish new procedures for public document requests and set penalties for custodians who do not follow those procedures.

Those penalties would be enforced by the Office of the Public Access Counselor, also created by the new bill, which would manage public inquiries and appeals.

The new bill would entirely replace the state’s existing open records law, which has been criticized for its lack of specificity and enforceability. Read more.

Sunshine Week: Open the Windows and Light up the Workings of Government

This week, reporters across the country are observing Sunshine Week, an event designed to highlight the importance of government transparency and to increase public understanding of freedom of information resources.

Sunshine Week was started by the American Society of News Editors in 2005 and is now co-sponsored by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. In addition to a series of public forums happening across the country — none are scheduled for Birmingham — Sunshine Week will include a series of online webinars focusing on how to navigate transparency laws on federal, state and local levels. See what resources are available to help you learn about state, Birmingham and Jefferson County operations when you read more.