Consider This: Improving South Carolina’s FOIA

Consider This: Improving South Carolina's FOIA

There is possible reform on the horizon for the state's Freedom of Information laws. Even though media are more likely to make freedom of information requests, all of us benefit when there is more transparency regarding the decisions of elected officials and the use of public funds.

Consider This:

Some politicians would prefer a less transparent system so they could make decisions that are not open to public scrutiny, but that is no way for a democracy to operate.

A top issue is that many elected bodies are making changes to agendas, specifically adding agenda items, during a meeting.

When that happens it means there is no advance notice for people who might be affected by the decision or for someone to prepare to make a public comment.

There is also an issue with coroners withholding information from autopsy reports.

Unlike death certificates, the information in these reports offers valuable information on what happened when there are questions about the cause of death or the death is part of a law enforcement investigation.

The state legislature should tackle both of these topics in the upcoming session. And it should also look at other opportunities to make information easier to obtain.

More transparency is always a better option.