Tuesday, December 21, 2004

In Arizona, one-fourth of agencies flunk public records audit

In an audit of public records compliance in Arizona, roughly half the agencies delayed release of the requested records, and nearly one in four failed to turn them over within a week or never provided them, the Arizona Republic reports. News organizations sent journalists to 119 local government agencies across the state on Sept. 14-16 to audit compliance with the state's Public Records Law. Auditors were instructed to identify themselves by name but not to volunteer the names of their employers or why they wanted the documents. The aim was to discern how an ordinary citizen seeking public records would be treated by the agencies. Nearly three in four police agencies and school offices - 69 percent and 68 percent, respectively - passed the test, compared with an 86 percent compliance rate for city and county managers offices.

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