NEFAC Emphasizes Need for Transparency in Remarks at Annual Rhode Island Open Government Summit

CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 |

The New England First Amendment Coalition helped commence the 24th annual Open Government Summit in Rhode Island today, emphasizing the need for transparency within state and local government.

The summit — hosted by the Office of the Attorney General and publicly live-streamed — features presentations on the state’s Access to Public Records Act and Open Meeting Act. The program’s audience is comprised of mostly public officials and other government employees.

Those in government have a crucial role to play as the gatekeepers to information, explained NEFAC’s Edward Fitzpatrick during the summit’s opening remarks.

“While the law does contain public records exemptions, the government is not required to use exemptions. It can choose to release documents,” said Fitzpatrick, a reporter at The Boston Globe who covers Rhode Island. “I want to encourage you to make transparency your default mode.”

This is the fourth consecutive year NEFAC participated in the summit. View the coalition’s remarks from 2019, 2020 and 2021. Learn more about state public record laws with NEFAC’s multimedia FOI Guide.

NEFAC was formed in 2006 to advance and protect the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment, including the principle of the public’s right to know. We’re a broad-based organization of people who believe in the power of an informed democratic society. Our members include lawyers, journalists, historians, academics and private citizens.

Our coalition is funded through contributions made by those who value the First Amendment and who strive to keep government accountable. Please make a donation here.

Leadership Circle donors include the Rhode Island Foundation, Hearst Connecticut Media Group, The Boston Globe, Paul and Ann Sagan, and the Robertson Foundation. Major Supporters include Boston University, the Academy of New England Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation, Genie Gannett for the First Amendment Museum, Linda Pizzuti Henry, Connecticut Public and GBH-Boston.