The Ombudsman Bill for RSA 91A Right-to-Know requests was signed into law. TBH, I was ambivalent about this one, HB481, because, on the one hand, it helps citizens with a cheaper, faster alternative to get access to information, but on the other, it grows government.
Read more about it HERE, from the former president of RTKNH and an activist instrumental in its passing, David Saad. Thanks to him for all the work he did!
We will need to be vigilant about who is appointed as the Ombudsman, otherwise this could easily become a way to quash transparency. That said, recourse in the courts–i.e. business as usual–always remains an option regardless of who is appointed as the Ombudsman.
Going forward, I am very interested in creating a repository of “open government requests,” meaning every time a RTK request is fulfilled, we add it to a searchable database, so that over time, we are simply creating open and transparent government by default, in keeping with Article 8, which expressly states that government officials ARE OUR AGENTS, and therefore cannot to things we are not allowed to do (booyah!).
My goal is to turn the Free State of NH into the most transparent and accountable government in the world.
ARTICLE 8 [Accountability of Magistrates and Officers; Public’s Right to Know.]:
“All power residing originally in, and being derived from, the people, all the magistrates and officers of government are their substitutes and agents, and at all times accountable to them. Government, therefore, should be open, accessible, accountable and responsive. To that end, the public’s right of access to governmental proceedings and records shall not be unreasonably restricted.”