Gov. Mike Pence recently signed an executive order creating a data-sharing project called the Governor’s Management and Performance Hub. The idea is to have a centralized clearinghouse for public data that top policymakers can use to systematically analyze problems—child fatalities and infant mortality, for instance—and the state’s handling of them.
In the state law that requires government meetings to be open to the public, there’s a wonderful preamble expressing the philosophy behind the statute. The intent of the Open Door Law, it declares, is “that the official action of public agencies be conducted and taken openly … in order that the people may be fully informed.”
Here’s something to ponder in the wake of the big stories that keep trickling out from the emails released by state Superintendent of Public Education Glenda Ritz: What if the emails in question had been from her own tenure in that office? Or, what if a reporter had asked Tony Bennett for the same emails while he was still in office (or asked for the emails from then-Gov. Mitch Daniels)?
Will Rogers once said, “Congress is in session; hold onto your wallets.” Now, with the General Assembly in session, and with Rogers’ spirit of affectionate cynicism, I offer a corollary: “Hold onto your open government.