Public records access varies PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Friday, 13 September 2013 10:47
Bowling Green will begin making sure all city departments are keeping track of requests for public records in the wake of comments made in its state audit.
The audit showed that the city was one of several in the state that was not keeping logs of when the requests were filed, and when they were fulfilled.
Assistant Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter said that the gap in procedure is not a violation, but “a recommendation for a best practice.” And that’s a practice the city will implement.
“Transparency and timely response to the public,” she said, are “core values.”
The city “did comply with all the requests,” Tretter said.
What the auditor noted was that some departments were keeping logs, others were not.
“We’ll be looking at implementing it across all our departments,” Tretter said.
State Auditor Dave Yost said a review of 20 counties and cities in the state showed weaknesses in their public records policies and procedures. Among the failures was a lack of centralized public records requests and tracking whether they are completed.
The Republican says the state must do better to make public records accessible.
In Cuyahoga County, home to Cleveland, some departments failed to maintain email once it was sent. And some officials there could not show that they attended mandatory public records training. Training requirements also are not included in the employee manual.
He said the public records policy of Elyria is not displayed in all city offices.
Yost found no problems in five counties and seven cities, including Canton, Marysville and Urbana.
From Columbus Dispatch: The most-common problem, found in Allen County, Beavercreek, Bowling Green, Crawford County, Harrison and Portsmouth, was a lack of formal procedures to track public-records requests. Some did not track when requests were received or fulfilled, the auditor’s office found.
(From Sentinel staff and Associated Press reports.)

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