Letter: Access aided by PAC’s counsel

Reporter Jordan Morey’s “Britt helps Hoosiers, agencies navigate access laws” [IBJ.com, Jan. 21] quoted press attorney Steve Key, saying the Public Access Counselor’s Office has “narrowed the number of situations where the citizens actually have to take a government entity to court to try and exercise their right for information from their government agencies.”

In addition to reducing citizens’ costs and court caseloads, another valuable benefit warranting note is that the PAC’s statutory function has helped to increase day-to-day agency transparency because officials understand that their actions to unduly restrict public access might be subject to formal review and censure. As a result, agency officials are more accommodating and less adversarial. Consequently, and more broadly, the value of civic engagement in day-to-day local and state decisionmaking is enhanced and our democracy strengthened.

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Clarke Kahlo

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