Governments delay access to public records during pandemic
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – A year after the first coronavirus shutdowns, public records have become harder to get in many U.S. states and cities.
Governors, legislatures and local officials have suspended or ignored laws that set deadlines to respond to records requests. Many officials have cited obstacles for staff members who work from home or who are overwhelmed with crisis management.
Some requests that used to take days or weeks now take months. New data shows that government agencies saw a sixfold increase last year in the time spent on records requests.