We think Colorado should set a uniform standard for the sealing of court files in criminal cases. The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition recently made a formal request for such a rule to a Colorado Supreme Court committee responsible for proposing Rules of Criminal Procedure applicable in state courts.
Journalists must “double down on the public trust” and governments must “release their stranglehold on information about the public’s business,” former Denver Post Editor Greg Moore said, accepting an award from the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition.
The private emails flap was one of many transparency-related stories we highlighted in 2015 or broke ourselves.
State lawmakers defeated a bill that would have made the State Public Defender’s Office subject to the Colorado Open Records Act, preferring to let the Colorado Judicial Branch write its own rules for releasing administrative records for that agency and other agencies under its control.
While lawmakers consider whether to make the state public defender’s office subject to the Colorado Open Records Act, the judicial branch is in the process of writing a new set of rules governing access to most of its administrative records.
HB 15-1101 would make the records of the state public defender and the office of alternate defense counsel subject to CORA, except for privileged attorney-client records, as defined by the proposal.
For the CFOIC, revisiting 2014 reveals a somewhat troubling string of stories about issues and problems affecting government transparency in Colorado. Consider them one by one and you might not be all that concerned. But put them in a list and you could reasonably conclude that open government in the Centennial State is still a work in progress.
The CFOIC questions why the public had to wait so long to see the Aurora theater shooting response report and why certain already well-publicized names and details have been X’d out.
A consortium of broadcast media organizations argued that an outside review of Aurora’s emergency response to the July 2012 theater shooting should be released to the public.
Fees for public records, protecting the confidential sources of journalists, the Open Meetings Law. These weren’t the topics that grabbed the biggest headlines during the during the 2014 legislative session. But that doesn’t diminish their importance.