Inslee receives news publishers’ award for commitment to open government

October 9, 2015

Summary 

Gov. Jay Inslee today received an award from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association for his work to keep state government open, transparent and accountable.

Quotes 

“Transparency in government doesn’t happen by default. It takes a culture of transparency and leaders who are committed to openness, even when the information might not be flattering. It also takes a vibrant news media committed to keeping the public accurately informed.”
Governor Inslee

“This is the most open administration I’ve ever worked with. The governor is extremely transparent about the realities of governing.”
Rowland Thompson, executive director of Allied Daily Newspapers

Story 

Gov. Jay Inslee today received an award from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association for his work to keep state government open, transparent and accountable.

The Washington Newspaper Publishers Association awarded Inslee the Walter C. Woodward Freedom’s Light Award, which honors recipients for their commitment to freedom of the press.

“Transparency in government doesn’t happen by default,” said Inslee. “It takes a culture of transparency and leaders who are committed to openness, even when the information might not be flattering. It also takes a vibrant news media committed to keeping the public accurately informed.”

“This is the most open administration I’ve ever worked with,” said Rowland Thompson, executive director of Allied Daily Newspapers. “The governor is extremely transparent about the realities of governing.”

As governor, Inslee has chosen not to exercise an executive privilege exemption to withhold records from public disclosure.

“I haven’t seen the necessity of using such a privilege,” Inslee said, “and I have no intention of changing course in the remainder of my administration.”

In his remarks at the Association’s convention, Inslee gave examples of several state agencies that have dramatically sped up release of public documents, often in the face of an increasing number of requests. He also said that over the last year, state government has doubled the amount of searchable, downloadable data available to the public. Inslee has made government transparency and accountability a key part of his Results Washington initiative.

Public disclosure requests can result in thousands of documents being gathered, reviewed, scanned and released. Inslee praised several agencies for their efforts to streamline that work.

Public disclosure teams at the state Department of Transportation, Department of Licensing and Department of Financial Institutions, for example, have recently cut their average times to fulfill certain records requests by 50 to 75 percent.  (Case studies for each are linked below.)

“You do the hard work of helping explain government,” Inslee told convention attendees. “We fundamentally agree that the public has a right to this information. I want people to see what we do, and our society depends on you to help make that happen.”

Public disclosure improvement case studies:

Media Contact 

Jaime Smith
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office
360.902.4136

Rich Roesler
Results Washington
360.902.3055