Dave and I in the first four grafs = FOI goodness

I love it when Dave and I are in the first four grafs of a story!

Whenever Charles Davis speaks to government officials, business leaders, lawmakers and journalists, he holds out Utah’s open-records law as one of the best in the nation.

“It is incredibly user-friendly,” said Davis, a records expert and associate professor of journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia. “What I like about the law is its clarity, precision of language and its relatively few exemptions.”

The law is now up for review as the GRAMA Working Group gets to labor on 36 policy questions aimed at bringing Utah’s Government Records Access and Management Act into the 21st century. The 25-member group meets for the second time Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Capitol.

On Friday, legislators repealed HB477, which most notably changed language that presumed records were closed unless someone requesting a document successfully argued otherwise. The short-lived law earned the state a Black Hole Award from the Society of Professional Journalists’ national chapter. David Cuillier, chairman of SPJ’s Freedom of Information Committee, said that, based on the revisions, he would knock Utah from 13th to 51st for transparency among states.

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