BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Gov. Kay Ivey recently signed a new executive order in hopes of promoting more transparency in state government.
CBS 42 spoke with local political experts who discussed their thoughts on what this could mean for the public.
According to a statement from Ivey’s office, she said she has always prioritized restoring people’s faith in Alabama’s state government.
In the statement, Ivey said she hopes this executive order will improve the process for accessing public records which she notes as the key to full transparency.
CBS 42 political analyst Steve Flowers said Ivey’s executive order to promote transparency in state government is making necessary changes to public record access.
“Sometimes people have gotten into agencies, and they’ve just adhered to their own admonition,” Flowers said. “They’ve done what they’ve wanted to do by letting people see records or not.”
Flowers said Ivey is now requiring all agencies who work for the state to follow this policy of having open records for no charge if published electronically.
“Anytime you have transparency in government — open records, everything transparent, the public and media can see without any charge — that’s just good government,” Flowers said.
House District 60 State Rep. Juandalynn Givan said she believes from a standpoint of access, not much will change, but this could provide a more efficiency.
“The way the order reads in the comments or response is that it will basically not really be changing much,” Givan said. “But it may help to speed up a little, the process.”
Givan said what isn’t clear is the driving force behind this executive order.
“For her to issue this, something has happened,” Givan said. “The question is, what and who, and was that person important enough to go to this level? And I would venture to say it’s for someone. It’s not just for transparency. It’s for somebody.”
Givan said if the process of accessing records does speed up this will be beneficial. Yet, she said she feels it would be even more effective to implement a process that would make government staff and employees more accessible to citizens through phone calls.