Sign up for the Open Government eNewsletter
We warmly welcome your thoughts on og-blog and especially welcome your emails with suggested postings and links to interesting stories and court cases. If you have something to say about open government in Washington State, sending it to og-blog is probably the best way to get it out. Don’t hesitate to contact us at

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Yakima Herald-Republic Editorial: State Auditor Right to Conduct Public Records Audit Anonymously

"Far from criticizing the methods of state Auditor Brian Sonntag in conducting performance audits of local and state government, we find his somewhat unconventional approach clearly in the best interests of citizens in pursuit of public records. Sonntag's auditors are putting the finishing touches on a project to test how well 30 local government and state entities around the state -- including the city of Yakima and Yakima County -- are responding to public records requests. As part of the test, each received a request for 10 records, including a sexual harassment prevention policy, travel and cell phone records for certain individuals and bonuses and awards. Unpaid friends and relatives of staff members in the auditor's office submitted the records requests to disguise their source, a move Thurston County Commissioner Diane Oberquell labeled a 'sting' that wasted taxpayers money. She told the Daily Olympian that she is upset that auditors did not make it clear all along that they were behind certain records requests."

Here is a link to the story about Thurston County throwing a fit over the anonymous requests, which is a must-read if you haven't already heard about this.