June 24, 2014
The Open Government Trainings Act takes effect July 1.
The law is designed to improve public disclosure practices and reduce lawsuits through mandatory training of public officials. A 2012 state Auditor’s Office study found more than 250 “open government-related issues” among local governments. The report found most violations are the result of insufficient training and knowledge, leading to lawsuits that could have been prevented.
February 11, 2014
Lawmakers are considering a bill that would send public officials and employees to what amounts to open-records school.
House Bill 2121 would require public officials and employees to undergo training on open government laws under the state’s Public Records Act and the Open Public Meetings Act.
When the public’s right to know is “stymied” by a public records officer, Rep. Gerry Pollet (D-Seattle) said, “it’s not a pleasant thing to deal with.” Pollet is the main sponsor of the bill, and advocated for a similar bill last year.