Most localities fail test on state records law
Boston Globe reporter Todd Wallack reported on a revealing experiment performed by a Northeastern University journalism class working with the Globe and WCVB-TV. To test compliance with the state's public records law, they contacted every municipality in the state, asking for two kinds of records that should be public: municipal salaries, and details on "use of force" policies for local police.
Fifty-eight percent did not reply within the 10-day period required by law.
Wallack spoke with our director for the story:
“There really is no excuse for agencies to hide use of force policies,” said Carol Rose, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. “It doesn’t undermine public safety, it enhances public safety.”
Read more in Most localities fail test on state records law, as well as Wallack's follow-up piece the next day: Baker surprised by cities, towns failing public records law.
And please stay tuned: if you don't already, follow us on Twitter @ACLU_Mass, on Facebook, or sign up for our email list. We'll be hard at work right away in 2016 to pass public records reform.
Update: Great reporting on this from Mike Beaudet at Channel 5 shows the need for reform in 2016. Watch 5 Investigates: Most Mass. cities and towns fail public records test.