WIS' recent efforts to obtain information from the City of Columbia regarding Chief Randy Scott's leave of absence reinforced the need for reforming the freedom of information law in South Carolina.
Too often, public officials stall the process claiming ignorance of the law or citing excessive fees, resulting in legal recourse to obtain information. Representative Bill Taylor, from Aiken, introduced legislation earlier this year that would prevent public and governmental institutions from overcharging fees and require a speedier response to requests for information. Unfortunately his bill was sent back to committee due to a controversial amendment. We're hopeful that it's not dead yet.
The sad reality is that some public agencies and government officials don't want us to know how they're conducting business, how they're spending your hard earned tax dollars or whether they've been behaving badly. When it comes to your right to know, public information should be provided affordably and in a timely manner, and a stronger Freedom of Information Law is needed in South Carolina. Because you deserve better.
That's my perspective, what's yours?