A report released by Access/RI shows that in the two years since Rhode Island changed its open records law, enforcement of the law has been less than stellar.
Access/RI isan alliance of First Amendment advocates and MuckRock, a group that works with journalists to secure and analyze public records. They show execution of the updated rules is extremely rare. The report states what is really happening isdifferent than what policy makers had hoped would transpire when legislation went through.
When Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee signed the Access to Public Records Act into law in June of 2012 it was noted that employment contracts and other documents that had been sealed in the past would now be public and readily available.
Access/RI found that restructured law was not being followed when routine documents such as arrest reports and contracts were requested. Many school systems have been unwilling to comply with the law and instead give heavily redacted copies of employment contracts. . . .