The Road To Massachusetts Public Records Reform

In 2015, the Massachusetts legislature seriously took on the issue of reforming its woefully inadequate public records laws for the first time since the early '70s. But change does not come easily to the Commonwealth, and open gov advocates found themselves faced with an up(Beacon)battle over even the mildest of fixes.

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.

17 Articles

Massachusetts Public Records Law among the country’s most restrictive

Massachusetts Public Records Law among the country’s most restrictive

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.

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Medford Police Department appears to be ignoring public records requests, in some cases for years

Medford Police Department appears to be ignoring public records requests, in some cases for years

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.

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Massachusetts municipalities still getting the hang of new public records law

Massachusetts municipalities still getting the hang of new public records law

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.

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