North Carolina transparency headlines
This article is a list of transparency related news from North Carolina.
Jobs group will show records; officials want to see how county funds were spent 2010-11-24 09:47:26
"Leaders of Rowan Jobs Initiative have reversed course and decided to provide county officials with records covering the four years the nonprofit organization has existed.
Earlier this month, top officials of Rowan Jobs refused to provide copies of minutes and other records. Instead, they offered to meet with commissioners one at a time and allow them to review some records."
North Carolina public records bill advances 2010-08-25 12:14:06
Under current state law, judges can require a losing party to pay the winner's attorneys fees, but judges rarely do this in public records cases. The idea is to discourage governments from withholding public records, the bill's supporters say the bill's supporters say.
"The public records are the people's records," said Rep. Deborah Ross, a Raleigh Democrat and co-sponsor of the bill. "They're not our records. They're not the politicians' records."
The Attorney General's Office would have a new division under the bill that would advise about 1,500 governmental units on public records issues. The unit could prevent disputes from going to court by mediating them, hopefully cutting the number of lawsuits while making government more open.
The panel concluded that top Mecklenburg County managers took proper steps to address accounting failures, causing the makeup of the panel to come under scrutiny.
The two commissioners/panel members, County Manager Harry Jones and county general manager, John McGillicuddy, helped to write the report presented to the county board of commissioners this week.
Jones and McGillicuddy are the administrators on the committee and Commissioner Dan Murrey, commissioner Bill James and certified public accountant Ward Simmons join them on the committee.
“It seems odd to me that our county manager and an assistant county manager who reports to our county manager would be a part of a committee to make a determination about whether management responded appropriately,” Commissioner Harold Cogdell said. “It undermines to some extent … the appearance of what this committee is charged with having done.”
The members will look into whether they should remove administrators from the panel in the future, according to Murrey. Some commissioners have expressed concern that the arrangement undermines public confidence in the review as well as hinders the committee's ability zero in on the person to blame.
Supporters of allowing managers on the panel do not believe it compromises investigations. They think it allows administrators on the committee to give commissioners experienced knowledge about the daily workings of county government.
The Audit Review Committee was established in 1998 by county officials to oversee financial audits and make recommendations to the commissioners. In North Carolina, counties arrange the committee so that it must include two commissioners, two county administrators and a community member.
Editorial: Records belong to the public 2009-06-12 15:03:25
"Democracy can be messy, but openness is nearly always preferable to allowing the government to decide what information it will allow the public to see. A Superior Court judge has agreed, and directed New Hanover County to release records that, by law, belong to the public.
Those records include the names, departments and salaries of the people the county laid off last month due to budget cuts. The Star-News has those names; it chose not to publish them because their identities weren't critical in reporting which departments were most affected. But their names are among the many government records that are supposed to be available to anyone who asks for them."
Public Records in North Carolina 2009-06-12 15:01:24
"For many North Carolinians seeking access to government documents, the state's public-records law is meaningless. A bureaucrat or elected official can refuse to release a public document, and the citizen cannot afford the legal costs associated with suing for its release.
That obstruction of open government would change significantly if legislation before the N.C. House of Representatives becomes law. House Bill 1134 would make it almost certain that citizens who successfully sue for records would get reimbursed for a reasonable amount of attorneys' fees."
Bill would require attorneys fees after public record lawsuit wins 2009-06-12 14:58:34
"Four state House members have introduced a bill that would require judges to award attorneys fees to plaintiffs who prevail in many public records cases.
The bill, sponsored by Reps. Deborah Ross, D-Wake; William Wainwright, D-Craven; Winkie Wilkins, D-Person; and Margaret Dickson, D-Cumberland, would also set up an open government unit within the attorney general's office to educate the public and government agencies of their rights and responsibilities under the state's public records and open meetings laws."
N.C. bill would award legal fees in records lawsuits 2009-06-12 14:56:40
North Carolina Press Association executive director Beth Grace said Tuesday that the legislation can prevent people who fight city hall from going broke even if they win their case. Agencies that rely on legal advice to keep records closed wouldn't have to pay."
New Hanover county, Star-News go to court over county layoff records 2009-06-12 14:54:51
"Lawyers for the Star-News argued in court Tuesday that New Hanover County has an obligation to release the identities of the 27 county employees who were laid off last month.
A county attorney said New Hanover officials have given the newspaper all they can and that disclosing those names would violate personnel confidentiality laws."
What's the true price of public records? 2009-06-12 14:53:05
They say Morrison's request for officials' e-mails in 2007 cost the city tens of thousands of dollars to compile. And, they complain, the transit tax opponent never picked up the documents."
Web site opens window on NC government 2009-06-12 14:50:49
"Efforts to make government more transparent to the public are being put forth, and in some cases implemented, in both the executive and legislative branches of government.
Just this past week, Gov. Bev Perdue took a step toward fulfilling a campaign promise to make state government more open. It's the beginning of an effort to put all contracts and grants exceeding $10,000 online by the end of the year.
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
State of North Carolina
Public Records Law | Transparency Checklist | Government corruption reports | Transparency Legislation | Open Records procedures | Transparency Advocates | Transparency blogs | State budget | Taxpayer-funded lobbying associations |
List of Counties |
List of Cities |
List of Towns |
List of School Districts |