Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Opened Records

Posted By on Tue, Nov 10, 2009 at 11:25 AM

Memphis mayor A C Wharton signed an executive order this morning expanding the public's access to City records.

I wasn't there — deadline day and all — but the order dictates that the salaries of city employees will be posted to the city website. The website will also include a list of city contractors and the size of their contracts.

"Personnel costs and outside contracts comprise the majority of the city budget," Wharton was quoted as saying in a release. "Taxpayers should know how those funds are being spent and with whom."

The mayor has also stipulated that public records requests will be acknowledged within five business days, and citizens will be notified if a request cannot be completed immediately.

Which I guess leads me to my question: Anything anyone out there wants me to ask for? I've got a couple of FOIA requests under my hat right now, but I'd be happy to add to them.

Both the mayor and the CAO will also have an open-door policy, in which anyone can enter either office and request a meeting.

"The most essential thing my administration can do at this point is to rebuild trust in local government," Wharton said. "To that end, because of this agenda, the citizens of Memphis can now see for themselves ... how their government works."

And I know transparency was part of Wharton's campaign, but just like with those Windows commercials, I'm totally giving the Flyer credit for this.

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