Transparent government is key to holding power accountable. In Rhode Island the Open Meetings Act, Access to Public Records Act, and Administrative Procedures Act form the foundation of open government. Common Cause continues to fight for improvements to those laws. We also use them to hold power accountable by filing complaints against public bodies when necessary. Common Cause is also a member of the state’s open government coalition, ACCESS/RI, what works to further the cause of open government in the Ocean State.
After a more than half-decade of work the General Assembly improved the Access to Public Records Act in 2012. A host of improvements were made to the law, including the addition of a “balancing test” to enhance access to personally identifiable records and requiring training and certification of government employees who handle requests for public records.
Common Cause Rhode Island is working to improve the state’s Open Meetings Act through a comprehensive modernization of the statute. In 2017 we supported the successful effort to expand the length of time for public notice of meetings, and require municipalities to post meeting minutes online.
Key resources for open government in Rhode Island: