The Road To Massachusetts Public Records Reform
Fortunately, if there’s anything fighting for transparency in Massachusetts teaches you, it’s how not to take “can we deal with this later?” as an answer.
Most requesters that file in Massachusetts have noted difficulty in obtaining records from the state. The Bay State has often been ranked as one of the worst in terms public access to information, and that’s in no small part owing to the fact that three branches of government - the judiciary, the legislature, and the office of the governor - are exempt from the public records law.
An improved public records law was passed on Beacon Hill two years ago, but just five miles away, the Medford Police Department continues to neglect its legal obligations to records requesters and the public.
In Massachusetts, if you’re unhappy with a response to a public records request, you can appeal it by submitting a petition to the supervisor of public records. And now, under the new public records law that took effect January 1st, municipalities and state agencies can also petition the supervisor for several reasons.