When it comes to being as open with citizens as required by state law, government doesn’t always get it right.
One thing it is doing right: employing a person whose sole job is to increase openness whenever possible. That’s the open-government ombudsman in the state Attorney General’s Office, a post created in 2005 by former Attorney General Rob McKenna and held since 2007 by Tim Ford.
In 2008, the position was a casualty of budget cuts and became part time. New Attorney General Bob Ferguson ought to preserve it and return it to full-time status as soon as feasible.
The ombudsman fulfills a vital role in government. Officials – both elected and appointed – all too often consider denying access to be the easy default position. Ford, an attorney well-versed in open government, can tell them when they are required by the state’s Open Public Meetings Act to provide access to the public and news organizations and when they must release records under the Public Records Act.
Read more here: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/opinion/2013/01/31/open-government-needs-a-vigilant-champion/#storylink=cpy