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David Cuillier Comments on Government Secrecy and Lack of Public Records Access

David Cuillier, director of the Brechner Freedom of Information Project, is quoted in “Locked Out of Local Government: Residents Decry Increased Secrecy AmongTowns, Counties, Schools,” published by The Associated Press on Dec. 18.

The article focuses on the lack of disclosure regarding a major property-tax hike in a small Pennsylvania town. It’s an example of the trend toward government secrecy and how access to public records is worsening.

“It’s been going on for decades, but it’s accelerated the past 10 years,” said Cuillier.

Few states compile data on public records requests, and laws governing open records differ by state, making a comprehensive analysis difficult. However, a review by Cuillier of data provided by MuckRock — a nonprofit news site that files and shares public records requests – found that between 2010 and 2021, local governments’ compliance with records requests dropped from 63% to 42%.

“Governments feel emboldened to basically flout democracy (and) say, ‘We’re in charge. Don’t question us. We’re not telling you what’s up,’” Cuillier said.

Posted: December 30, 2023
Category: Brechner News
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