Vermont office to post public record requests, responses

February 17, 2018

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Public record requests to Vermont state government could become more accessible after Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced that those requests to his office and the responses will be posted on the attorney general’s website.

Other state agencies are considering similar moves.

“I just think at a basic level of trying to be as transparent as we possibly can, it just makes sense. If we’re going to release otherwise public documents to somebody, we should release them to everybody,” Donovan, a Democrat, told the Rutland Herald.

Rebecca Kelley, a spokeswoman for Republican Gov. Phil Scott, said transparency is a priority for the governor and Donovan’s idea is a step toward transparency and efficiency.

“We have to sort of identify what the right technical platform might be or what the right procedures might be, but it is something we are now looking into because we do agree that it’s another step toward providing more transparency,” Kelley said.

Several agencies said posting responses online could be more efficient when they are responding to multiple requests for the same information.

For example, when the Department of Corrections awards a bid to a contractor, often competing companies request copies of the other responses to proposal requests to learn what their competitors are proposing, said Kurt Kuehl, general counsel for the state Department of Corrections.

If the responses could be posted online, the department could send the link to the multiple parties seeking the information.

“I think it would save the department time, and therefore, the taxpayers money and get the information out there to people,” Kuehl said.


Information from: Rutland Herald, http://www.rutlandherald.com/

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