Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Delaware's More Open Government: The Government Information Center

A Wilmington News Journal story on Sunday pointed to a new law that requires Executive Branch agencies to electronically post agendas and minutes of their meetings to a central State web site.

It's a great move, and I'm happy that the State is doing this. It should make it a lot easier for anyone interested to keep track of when meetings are, what will be covered at them, and what happened at the meetings.

The central government web site looks like it will be the Government Information Center. There is a link on that page to Future Meetings and Events (labeled "Calendar of Events") that is showing a healthy number of meetings scheduled throughout the year, already.

Minutes of meetings are supposed to be published within five working days of the approval of the minutes.

There are 32 division boards and commissions in the state. Many of them haven't been publishing agendas or minutes online, so this requirement will be a welcomed change, and makes Delaware's governing process more open to the public.

The law that made posting of agendas and minutes required is the State of Delaware's Freedom of Information Act, in the section on Open Meetings. That section also describes when meetings can be not open to the public.

Also of note on that page is a link to RSS Newsfeeds from the State. It's a good way of keeping track of what is going on with Delaware's agencies if you use RSS feeds already to track blogs and news from news papers.

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