Archive for Monday, February 23, 2015

Legislative proposal focuses on open records enforcement

February 23, 2015

— A legislative proposal that would make it easier to investigate allegations that governmental agencies are improperly redacting public records has the backing of Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that if the legislation advances, prosecutors would be able to more quickly get to the bottom of claims that details have been improperly withheld.

Currently, county or district attorneys and the attorney general are tasked with investigating alleged open records violations. Prosecutors need to review the full record to determine whether a document has been improperly redacted or withheld.

But Schmidt says accused violators often are hesitant to turn over unredacted records because they fear the records then will be improperly released. Under the legislation, prosecutor would be prohibited from releasing the documents without a court order.

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