Wednesday, April 9, 2014
In an effort to save money and increase public access to documents, Dorchester County Council voted to better enforce Freedom of Information Act requirements on its committees Monday night.
Councilman David Chinnis brought the issue to Council’s attention, first at the Council-Administrator Budget Retreat on March 27 and again at the April 7 council meeting.
He formally requested all committees, commissions and boards of the council be sent a letter alerting them of FOIA requirements. Specifically, all public bodies that act as an extension of the council must submit meeting minutes and attendance records within 30 days of a meeting to the Clerk of Council for posting on the county website.
The posting of documents will not only enforce citizens’ rights to information, but will also save the county money on legal fees, Councilman Chinnis said.
“We’re spending money we shouldn’t have to spend on Mr. Frampton [the county attorney] answering these FOIA requests,” he said.
Council unanimously approved the motion, with Councilman Jay Byars absent.