Palm Beach Post: Reopen governor’s office; let new gatekeeper have new attitude


Gov. Scott has named a new director of his Office of Open Government, a department that in the early days of his administration seemed a misnomer but lately has gotten better marks from journalists and open-government advocates. Bonnie Hazelton will be responsible for providing the best public access to government records, but to deliver she must work to change practices unfriendly to access in Gov. Scott’s administration.

Gov. Scott came into office last year with top aides and advisers who had little government experience and little familiarity with, or interest in, Florida’s public records laws, which ensure broad access to information about state and local government. Not surprisingly, this early indifference created animosity with open-government advocates and a skeptical press, which showered the administration with public-records requests. The revelation this summer that transition team emails were illegally erased raised new questions about the Scott administration’s regard for the law.

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