Leiken calls on Gov. Brown, Sec of State Atkins to improve transparency

Sid Leiken_thb

Sid Leiken (candidate for Oregon Secretary of State)

SALEM, Ore.- An audit, released this week by the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office, shows that Oregon’s public records system is in need of significant improvements. The findings reinforce concerns voiced by a report from The Center for Public Integrity. The organization gave Oregon an “F” grade for government accountability and transparency. Some of the problem stems from the roughly 400 exemptions in public records law which limit the public’s access to certain information.

The audit recommends state agencies craft procedures to better handle “non-routine or complex” record requests, improvements to the fee structure, and possibly adding an independent ombudsman or commission to handle disputes related to public records requests.

“Oregon has had more than its fair share of government scandals in recent years and it is greatly undermining public trust in State government,” said Oregon Secretary of State Candidate Sid Leiken. He went on to say, “if I become Secretary of State, improving government transparency and accountability will be one of my top priorities, we cannot afford to wait.”

“Oregonians deserve better, more transparent government and our public records system is essential to ensuring that tax dollars are spent wisely and agencies deliver needed services,” explained Leiken. “I call on Governor Brown and Secretary Atkins to step up and make substantive changes to the public records system to address the system’s significant shortcomings.”

To learn more about Sid Leiken’s candidacy, visit www.sidleiken.com