This is Not What Transparency Looks Like

It’s Sunshine Week! What does transparency look like under Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson? Long delays with lots of denials.

On Friday, March 8, Jocelyn Benson FINALLY fulfilled our FOIA request, a mere eleven days after the Department had indicated we would have the results. And as you can see, Jocelyn Benson’s idea of transparency is, well… underwhelming.

If you’re keeping track, of the ten items listed in our FOIA request, five were “denied in part,” and two more were rejected because the “Department respectfully disagrees” with the nature of our request. Do tell.

According to Jocelyn Benson, “transparency” is the hallmark of her administration.  So why is the Secretary of State hiding behind these strained interpretations of the limited exemptions referenced in FOIA to prevent the public from receiving the public’s documents?  Remember, even where an exemption to FOIA validly exists, there is NOTHING to prevent Jocelyn Benson from releasing any public record.

Jocelyn Benson should know better, and the people of Michigan deserve better. We will appeal this denial, and we expect the Secretary of State to provide complete transparency into all of the advice and opinions that led to her settlement with Build a Better Michigan.

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