NEFAC Stresses Importance of Transparency During 25th Annual Rhode Island Open Government Summit

CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 |

The New England First Amendment Coalition helped commence the 25th annual Open Government Summit in Rhode Island today, calling on public officials to uphold freedom of information laws and provide transparency whenever possible.

The summit — hosted by the Office of the Attorney General and Roger Williams University — 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 are critical to the public’s understanding of their communities and their representatives, explained NEFAC’s Mike Stanton, a former journalist at the Providence Journal, during the summit’s opening remarks.

“I wouldn’t be able to tell the stories that I did tell about corruption, cronyism and simply explaining the inner workings of government without your help,” Stanton said. “These types of stories are critical to our understanding of government and holding those in power accountable. Without you these stories cannot be told.”

“You are the gatekeepers of vital public information crucial to keeping the wheels of an open and transparent democracy turning,” Stanton added.

This is the fifth consecutive year NEFAC participated in the summit. View the coalition’s remarks from 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. 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, The Boston Globe, Paul and Ann Sagan, and the Robertson Foundation. Major Supporters include Hearst Connecticut Media Group, Boston University, the Academy of New England Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation, Genie Gannett for the First Amendment Museum, Linda Pizzuti Henry, the Champa Charitable Foundation Fund and Connecticut Public.