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

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Power of OPM

This editorial from The Olympian opines that agencies like the Port of Olympia should cut their legal bill loses and simply turn over public records when a court says so, instead of appealing and then losing again and running up the bills even higher.

The Olympian is right, but why would a government agency do something it doesn't want to do when it has "free" tax money to spend trying to get lucky in a higher court? It's OPM: "Other People's Money" so why care?

A solution would be for the Public Records Act to do what the Open Public Meetings Act does: impose personal liability. Then it's not OPM but MOM: "My Own Money." It's weird how decision making changes when it's MOM.