Public records kept hidden from the public; legislators want more transparency

KOAA News5 (Colorado Springs): Public records hold government officials accountable and promote transparency so you know exactly where your tax money is going, but some agencies are using open records laws to keep the public in the dark.

March 10-17 is Sunshine week—a national push to show the importance of “open government” and the dangers of unnecessary secrecy.

While journalists often file open records requests, the average citizen has the same rights to request records as we do.

“Public records laws have become a fundamental part of our democracy,” Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition Executive Director Jeff Roberts said. “Knowing what your government does is really important to being able to effectively participate in our democracy.”

Roberts’ organization works to educate Coloradans about open records laws and how to access public documents.

“They (public records) help you hold government accountable and give you confidence that our public officials are doing a good job,” Roberts explained. “If you didn’t have access to this information, you would just have to take their word for it.”

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