Monday, August 22, 2016

Survey on MD Public Information Act. Our Say: You can help protect the public's right to know

If you've ever used the Maryland Public Information Act, there's [a] survey you should consider taking.
Journalists use this law as an important reporting tool, giving us access to important public records we feel our readers have a right to know.
The law was changed last year, creating an ombudsman to mediate disputes and a compliance board to review fees requested by the "custodians" of public records that total more than $350. The law also changed the rules for waiving fees and how reasons for denying a request under they law must be cited.
But also within the legislation was a requirement that Attorney General Brian Frosh prepare a report on the administration of law and the changes. A report being prepared by Assistant Attorney Adam Snyder will examine issues that include giving the board power to award damages in a dispute, whether fee waivers are appropriate, an analysis of denials and a look at requests for agencies considered outside government.
To do this, Snyder, with help from the Maryland, Delaware, DC Press Association, the Maryland Association of Counties, the Maryland Municipal League, Common Cause and others created a survey for people who both control the information and those who submit requests under the law. Here's a look at some examples for people who provided by the Snyder's office: ...

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