Ohio Auditor: State FOI Law Sickly…

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost figures that if his office can’t quickly obtain public records, the average Ohioan faces “pretty tough odds.”

Yost today proclaimed that the “public records law in Ohio is alive, but not well” as he released a study of cities’ responses to his office’s request on Oct. 17 for copies of their annual payrolls.

Forty percent of Ohio’s 247 cities failed to provide records within the requested seven to 10 days, a figure that the auditor declared “unacceptable.” Within a month, 77 percent of cities had turned over their payrolls.

Two cities, Niles and Campbell in northeastern Ohio, still have not responded.

State law does not specify a time frame within which public-records requests must be fulfilled, instead using a “reasonable” standard. Yost said cities should be able to provide routine documents within two days.

“These documents belong to the people” and should be made available without delay, Yost said at a news conference that marked “Sunshine Week,” a national campaign to promote government transparency.

More here.

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