The March 18 editorial “The delay game” on the lack of transparency in North Carolina State government was right on the money – the money we spend as taxpayers on state government departments that won’t release information we are entitled to as citizens.
Sunshine Week attempts to shine some light on the darkness that government uses to conceal information from us. An egregious example is our State Bureau of Investigation, which has a blanket restriction on revealing any information to the public, in essence no FOIA. While this is understandable on ongoing investigations, informer protection and documents on current prosecution, it hardly should apply to many other legitimate information requests.
We might not have had the incredible state forensic lab scandal if there had been some transparency. How many other scandals might the SBI be hiding behind its refusal to provide information to us?
Other states have more liberal provisions relative to law enforcement than North Carolina. Even the FBI has FOIA obligations. It’s time we had transparency in a department as important as SBI.
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Kudos to The N&O for bringing up the issue of transparency in government. Hopefully, we can get honest transparency across the spectrum of all North Carolina government.