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Public officials cite virus while limiting access to records

11 months 3 weeks 4 days ago Thursday, May 14 2020 May 14, 2020 May 14, 2020 10:47 AM May 14, 2020 in News - AP Texas Headlines

By DAVID A. LIEB
Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Many state and local governments across the U.S. have suspended access to public records amid the coronavirus pandemic. Public officials have said employees don’t have the time or ability to comply with records requests because they are too busy responding to the coronavirus or are working from home. But open government advocates have raised concerns about the rise in secrecy. First Amendment Coalition Director David Snyder says public records requests are the best way to "avoid waste, fraud, abuse and to ensure that governments aren’t overstepping their bounds” during the pandemic.

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