Gov. Brown renews call for public records reform

Reacting to a recent audit, Kate Brown authorizes executive orders to create a public-records ombudsman, other changes.

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Reacting to a recent audit, Gov. Kate Brown authorized an executive order to create a public-records ombudsman among other changes.

The main finding of the report was that Oregon’s current practices are harming the public’s trust in the government.

Agencies generally handle public records requests in a timely fashion, but complex requests pose an issue. It’s these requests, Brown said, that “can be the most confounding — and as a result, the most notorious and damaging to public trust.”

Her orders, to be signed before the February legislative session, will focus in part on clarifying the timeliness and cost expectations of state agencies when responding to records requests.

(SOURCE: Statesman Journal)

Brown also plans on bringing the issue to the legislature in the upcoming session.

“It was clear transparency wasn’t a priority in the prior administration,” said Brown, who rose to the state’s highest office from her position as secretary of state.

Since February, Brown’s office has fulfilled more than 100 public records requests, containing 350,000 pages and involving more than 3,000 hours of staff time, she said.

(SOURCE: Portland Tribune)

The governor was also recently sued by Oracle over her handling of public records requests regarding former Gov. John Kitzhaber’s emails.

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