State Fails To Show Urgency With Transparency

Transparency is a word government leaders use to reassure the public they are doing everything they can in an open session. Unfortunately, as we have seen far too often, that is not the case.

Last month, following Gov. Kathy Hochul’s State of the State address, one watchdog agency took leaders to task. Paul Wolf, president of the New York Coalition for Open Government, said not enough is being done to keep citizens out of the dark.

“The governor proposed addressing the backlog of liquor, license administrations but said nothing about the broken Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) system where members of the public are improperly denied FOIL requests or must wait many months to receive basic information,” he said.

Our newspapers have seen this first hand. One request to the state Health Department, made in June 2022, still has not been processed.

That’s unacceptable and is exactly the reason Wolf and the committee want more done to assist in public access to records. Information moves lightning quick in the 21st century. Public records, at the moment at the state level, are still in the horse-and-buggy era.


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