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Monday, June 9, 2008

City of Seattle Says It Will Improve Its Public Records Process

This Seattle Times editorial describes the City of Seattle's announcement that it will take steps to improve its public records performance. The improvements are aimed at remedying many of the problems identified by the State Auditor's Office in a recent performance audit.

A few thoughts. First, it looks like performance audits work. Second, the performance audit's main conclusion is that an agency's internal culture has a tremendous impact on its open government performance; it took the City of Seattle years to devolve into a culture of secrecy and it will take a long time to change. Finally, we will give the City the benefit of the doubt with its stated intention to improve--but will look at evidence to see if it's happening.