Inherent Frictions and Deliberate Frustrations: Examining the Legal Variables of State FOI Law Administration




FOI laws are of a category of laws acutely predisposed to internal resistance and erosion. The study seeks to better understand these limitations by examining legal elements of the laws through an exploratory field study, or audit, of nine state FOI laws. Among the study’s findings are two uniquely strong predictors of better FOI results: The existence of an independent FOI advocacy organization in the state and a legislature subject to the law. The findings suggest cultivating a culture of transparency may be as or more important than any of the generally considered legal variables, such as deadlines or penalties.
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