~ Attorney General’s Office to partner with Brechner Center, ena…

~ Attorney General’s Office to partner with Brechner Center, enable
Floridians to hold government accountable ~

TALLAHASSEE, FL – LAWFUEL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that his office has launched the Government Accountability Project (GAP) to encourage state and local government entities to provide Florida’s citizens more information and records necessary to hold their government accountable. The project was launched in partnership with the University of Florida’s Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, whose mission is to further advance the understanding, appreciation and support for freedom of information and education.

“Florida is a national leader in providing open government for the public,” said Attorney General McCollum. “The GAP project and partnership with the University of Florida’s Brechner Center aim to further advance accountability for Florida citizens. It is my hope that this project will serve as an example for other government entities to follow.”

Noting the advanced use of technology, Attorney General McCollum stated government should capitalize on available technology to grant public access to records and other information. The project will develop in two phases. The first phase will determine what discrepancies exist between records already available and the information citizens need but have difficulty obtaining; the second phase will involve collaboration with state and local government entities to eliminate any discrepancies uncovered. The project will be showcased on a new website designed to give Floridians expedient access to public records and is available through the Attorney General’s homepage. The new Government Accountability Project will be coordinated by Associate Deputy Attorney General Simone Marstiller who brings extensive experience in public service to the project. Marstiller noted that ready access to government records should be a high priority for both state and local government officials.

“The Brechner Center is excited to be partnering with Attorney General McCollum on this project,” said Sandra Chance, executive director of the Brechner Center. “Improved electronic access will make it much easier for us to hold our government officials accountable for their decisions that affect our lives, our families and our communities.”

As a champion of Florida’s open government laws, Attorney General McCollum reiterated his firm belief in the principle that government must be accountable to the people of our state. In keeping with his promise to safeguard the citizens of Florida, the Attorney General’s Government Accountability Project will protect the people’s constitutional right of access to government. The website is available at:
http://myfloridalegal.com/pages.nsf/Main/20AB6480E324FC5885257297006997E7.

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