This bill would establish the Alabama Open Records Act, provide a process to provide citizens with better access to public records, provide procedures for making and responding to requests for access to public records, and would set the fees to be charged for copies. This bill would also create the Office of the Public Access Counselor in the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts, establish an appeals process and administrative and judicial remedies, and would provide civil penalties for noncompliance.
We support this bill because transparency and accountability are the hallmarks of good government. The Alabama Open Records Law exists to ensure government is accountable to the people and should guarantee access to government information unless there is an important governmental interest in protecting the information.
This bill was introduced on April 4, 2019 and assigned to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee. It had a public hearing on Wednesday, April 24 but did not receive a vote.
- 4/24/2019 - Alabama bureaucrats like our public records law as it is. Here’s what that means in real life. [AL.com]
- 4/23/2019 - Open records bill runs into local government concerns [Montgomery Advertiser]
- 4/23/2019 - Bill aimed at improving access to Alabama public records [AL.com]
- 4/8/2019 - Senate bill could strengthen Alabama open records law [Montgomery Advertiser]
- 4/1/2019 - This open records bill would make Alabama... better [AL.com]