"Where was the Governor?" Grassroot Institute Calls for Greater Transparency on Governor's Travel
News Release from Grassroot Institute
HONOLULU, Hawaii-October 15, 2013-Today, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii called on the Office of the Governor to demonstrate greater transparency in the Governor's travel and expenditures, suggesting that legislative action might be required to remedy an apparent effort to frustrate state open records law.
"It's unfortunate to see a journalistic news website face bureaucratic foot-dragging in response to a very reasonable request regarding the Governor's use of state funds," stated Tim Lussier, Executive Director of Grassroot Institute. "Not only is it antithetical to the spirit of Hawaii's Uniform Information Practices Act, but it is an affront to the citizens of this state, who deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent."
Mr. Lussier referred to a recent article in Honolulu Civil Beat, detailing that publication's efforts to obtain a full account of Governor Abercrombie's travel records and expenses for the entirety of his term in office. Even after an appeal to the state Office of Information Practices, Civil Beat is unable to obtain these records without paying the state $1,016 in estimated charges to compile the requested information. The article detailing Civil Beat's efforts to obtain the records can be found here.
"The Governor's spending and travel must be a matter of open public record," continued Mr. Lussier. "If the Governor's office does not release this information to the media and the public, then perhaps they should be compelled to do so by the legislature-which could pass a law (modeled after the one already in existence for the City Council and Mayor of Honolulu) requiring that the public be informed whenever the Governor is out of state."
"If the Governor's office will not release this information," concluded Mr. Lussier, "then Grassroot Institute will do what it takes to help raise the funds for it and shower some much-needed sunshine over our state's executive branch."
About the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii:
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, the free market, and limited, accountable government throughout Hawai`i and the Asia-Pacific region. Read more about us at http://www.grassrootinstitute.org/
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