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Az Dep't of Education releases school grades after pushing reporter from office

After refusing to release school letter grade records distributed to Arizona public schools and claiming that no list of all scores existed, the Department of Education has reversed course and released the records to media outlets who sought them.... Read more»3

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Az Dep't of Education forcibly removes reporter asking to inspect records

The Arizona Department of Education physically pushed an AZCIR reporter out of its Capitol Mall offices Thursday in response to a request to inspect the latest school letter grade records. The agency’s security guard told AZCIR’s reporter he was trespassing and pushed him out of the public building.... Read more»

Arizona public records aren’t so public

More than a month ago, 19 Arizona agencies were given simple public record requests seeking data on the numbers of those requests those agencies received in 2015 and 2016. Less than half responded. ... Read more»

SRP gets failing grade for transparency of online financial records

Arizona’s Salt River Project earned failing marks for the transparency of its online financial records, one of more than half of special districts nationwide to fail in a new report on districts that provide services independently of state or local jurisdictions.... Read more»

Cap Times: Az legislators stonewall on releasing text messages

Arizona lawmakers are improperly redacting, delaying and denying the release of text messages they've used to conduct legislative business, in violation of state public records laws, the Arizona Capitol Times reported after a four-month investigation.... Read more»

Only 3 states score higher than D+ in Integrity probe; 11 flunk

Trouble in America's statehouses: secrecy, questionable ethics and conflicts of interest — These are among the practices illuminated by the State Integrity Investigation, which measured hundreds of variables to compile transparency and accountability grades for all 50 states. The results are nothing short of stunning. The best grade in the nation, which went to Alaska, is just a C. Only two others earned better than a D+; 11 states received failing grades.... Read more»

Scandals spur little change: Arizona graded D in integrity exam

Gaps in government transparency and accountability in Arizona over the past few years are not hard to find. The Copper State received an overall score of 64 – a D grade — in a new State Integrity Investigation, a data-driven assessment of government accountability and transparency in all 50 states.... Read more»

Three bills aim to make exceptions to Az’s public records law

Three bills introduced during this legislative session aim to make what currently is public information private.... Read more»1

Bill would disclose which companies get state tax credits

Arizonans deserve a better accounting of what they get in return for in state tax credits given each year to companies, a public interest advocate says. HB 2586, authored by Darin Mitchell, R-Litchfield Park, which would require the Arizona Department of Revenue to produce an annual report on recipients of five state tax credits. ... Read more»

Advocates slam proposal to charge for searching public records

A proposal that would allow governments to charge a labor fee for time-intensive public records requests would restrict access to information and undermine open government, a media attorney told lawmakers Thursday. “Bottom line is public records in Arizona belong to the people."... Read more»

ADEQ won't release secret Rosemont emails exchanged with Brewer's office

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is refusing to release more than a dozen emails with the governor’s office concerning the issuance of the air pollution permit for the proposed Rosemont copper mine.... Read more»2

Big media lobbies against transparency

Many of the country’s biggest media companies are fighting against a government initiative to increase transparency of political spending.... Read more»

Guest opinion: Sunshine Week

Sunshine is the best disinfectant - even on campus

As national Sunshine Week comes to a close, some legislators are trying to close out the sunshine. A new proposal would expand a current exemption to Arizona's public records laws and limit public information at universities.... Read more»

Bill to remove principals’ evaluations from public review draws fire

Advocates for government transparency are objecting to language in an education bill that would prevent the public from reviewing school principals' performance appraisals.... Read more»

Gov't could hide existence of records under FOIA proposal

A proposed rule to the Freedom of Information Act would allow federal agencies to tell people requesting certain law-enforcement or national security documents that records don't exist – even when they do.... Read more»2

Pima College racks up $150k-plus post-Jan. 8 bill

Dealing with requests for public records relating to accused gunman Jared Loughner and other fallout from the Jan. 8 shooting has cost Pima Community College over $150,000, a spokesman said.... Read more»

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