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Baker Orders State Agencies To Improve Records Access

Jim Levulis
Gov. Charlie Baker (R-Mass.)

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is ordering his administration to take steps that would make public records more accessible and lower the costs of obtaining those records.In a memo to cabinet secretaries on Thursday, Baker noted that Massachusetts has been given low grades in the past for government transparency.

The policy requires state agencies to answer public records requests within eight weeks and explain in writing any delays beyond that time. Records must be produced electronically, if possible. Fees charged for routine records searches are to be waived and no more than $25 per hour would be charged for more complex searches.

The order mirrors some of the provisions in a public records bill that has been approved by a legislative committee but not yet voted on by the full Legislature.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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