Source: Better Government Association and National Freedom of Information Coalition
Freedom of information laws are only as good as the response mechanisms built into the laws themselves. After all, if citizens can’t take action to enforce their right of access shy of filing suit, what good are FOI laws?
When it comes to responsiveness measures, not much good at all.
The Better Government Association (BGA) and the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) have united to review the recourse afforded citizens in the public records laws of all 50 states, and the conclusions make for some relentlessly depressing reading.
The tools available to citizens to enforce their rights under state FOI laws are, with rare exceptions, endemically weak. The haphazard construction of state public records laws has resulted in an information gap that significantly affects the citizenry’s ability to examine even the most fundamental actions of government, the study found.
States failing FOI responsiveness (also available in PDF)