Open Government: South Carolina Ranks Dead Last
“IT’S A GREAT DAY … FOR SECRECY”
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley campaigned on a platform of government transparency, but eighteen months into her first term a new study has concluded that the Palmetto State ranks dead last nationally in terms of public access to information.
Meanwhile Haley herself has proven to be anything but transparent when it comes to her handling of that information …
According to the State Integrity Investigation – which recently ranked South Carolina as one of the most corrupt states in the nation – the Palmetto State is the nation’s most secretive, ranking 50th nationally owing to “a weak legal structure, including the absence of a formal appeals process when the state denies access.”
Government agencies in South Carolina were also slammed for their practice of charging exorbitant fees for public information.
Wait … you mean Nikki Haley hasn’t broken up this secretive good ol’ boy cabal like she promised?
Of course not. In fact she’s become one of the arch offenders. Months after taking office, Haley’s administration began charging reporters for responding to FOIA requests. Then last December, Haley’s office deliberately omitted relevant emails sought via FOIA by reporter Renee Dudley of The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier.
“Transparency inaction,” right?
South Carolina has a tough Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) law, but like so many of our ethics laws it isn’t being enforced - rendering it effectively useless. You know … sort of like our “education accountability” standards …
Anyway, “it’s a great day in South Carolina …” for secrecy.