Open Records In The Time Of Covid

Posted July 8, 2020 by Bill Wheelhouse

On Tuesday, the Better Government Association was pleased to present “Open or Shut Case: COVID-19 and the Fight for Public Records” via Zoom.

If you missed it, a recording is now available on YouTube.

It was a great conversation with BGA’s Marie Dillon, our general counsel Matt Topic and Daniel Bevarly of the National Freedom of Information Coalition. They discussed how governments have tried to relax Open Meetings Act and FOIA standards during the COVID-19 emergency, and their efforts to resist these moves. Panelists also shared insights on a recent victory in a lawsuit to preserve police misconduct records and another ongoing effort to access officials’ emails—all in progress before the pandemic.

Transparency is essential to good government. It is fundamental to our mission at the Better Government Association. As Marie noted, fighting for public records through FOIA requests can be seen as a media vs. government conflict, but in truth, we fight for you, the public. 

If you know others interested in this fight, feel free to share the recording.