Guymon Daily Herald

AG Drummond clears backlog of open records requests


Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond announced today that his office has cleared a sizable backlog of Open Records requests that dated back to years before he took office. The announceme­nt comes during Sunshine Week, an annual and nationwide celebratio­n of access to public informatio­n and open government.

“I believe strongly in openness and transparen­cy in government, and I will continue to aggressive­ly enforce the Open Records and Open Meetings Acts across state government,” said Drummond. “A transparen­t government begets a better government, as it exposes bad actors while attracting public officials who act with honesty and integrity.”

When Drummond took office on Jan. 9, the Office of Attorney General had 66 unfulfille­d Open Records requests, some of which were several years old. The backlog of requests has been eliminated and Drummond’s office has fulfilled 34 additional requests since he was sworn in.

Drummond said recent years have seen an alarming increase in cases where individual­s have had to file lawsuits to get lawfully accessible public documents.

“No one should have to sue their own government to obtain a public record,” he said. “There are times when specific circumstan­ces may reasonably restrict some documentat­ion, such as informatio­n that is part of an ongoing investigat­ion. However, the standard for conducting public business always must be one of openness and transparen­cy.”

Sunshine Week runs March 12-18 this year. Now in its 19th year, the initiative to promote open government is hosted by the News Leaders Associatio­n and the Society of Profession­al Journalist­s.

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