Magazine article The Quill

Public Records a Gamble in Colorado, Survey Finds

Magazine article The Quill

Public Records a Gamble in Colorado, Survey Finds

Article excerpt

IN-BRIEF

Over a period of two months, local government agencies in Colorado failed to comply a third of the time with a state law that declares "all public records shall be open for inspection by any person at reasonable times."

That's what member papers of the Colorado Press Association and The Associated Press discovered after conducting a freedom-of-information audit on a scale unprecedented in their state.

More than three dozen Colorado papers, from The Denver Post to the Telluride Daily Planet, and the AP, visited all 63 counties from July 11 through mid-October 2000.

The reporters asked for six documents that should always be available to the public: the superintendent's contract, police incident reports, a jail roster, the mayor's travel expenses, a restaurant health inspection and a list of people charged with a crime. …

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