Monday, May 20, 2013

Connecticut: Secrecy as a Problem? or a Solution?

The Hartford Current reports there is a legislative attempt to "draw the curtain of secrecy around state government" by exempting pardon applications from the Freedom of Information Act. The Current editorializes that this "baneful" proposal:
... amounts to an attack on transparency that, if left unchecked, will breed even more cynicism and distrust of government. 
In addition to denying "public access to pardon applications and other records of the state Board of Pardons and Paroles" legislation "would also exclude the public from hearings."

It is argued that these changes are needed to "encourage offenders applying for pardons to be forthcoming in giving sensitive details — such as their mental health treatment or substance abuse recovery — in their applications about their efforts to rehabilitate." But, the Current notes, the Freedom of Information Commission argues the proposals are "a catastrophic blow to government transparency," and the public's "right to know" that "the decision-making process with respect to the granting of all pardons is fair, unbiased and free from influence."

See full story here.

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