Thursday, December 17, 2009

Records requests over job cuts.

Governor Bill Richardson says he is going to lay off some of his political appointees. A number of people have asked, who?

Their questions came in the form of requests to inspect the public records of who is being laid off.

Richardson's response, through spokesman Gilbert Gallegos,

"it's not necessary, nor is it appropriate or dignified to identify individuals who are losing their jobs".
The New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act does not provide such an exception.

Which begs the question, are public records closed unless proved otherwise, Richardson's position, or are records open unless proved otherwise?

Should we have to seek permission to see public records, or
should public servants need permission to hide them?

Are the records ours, or theirs?

By placing the burden on the requester, government is less transparent.

If the burden were on the public servant who wants to hide the record, government would be more transparent.

This situation points to a need for an impartial and relatively speedy system for deciding which records do and don't enjoy exception to the law.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is he going to have those laid off, overpaid administrative types placed at UNM like he did Harris and that whole bunch?