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Ohio Auditor: Open Government Violations Dropped In 2017

Bexley Education Foundation
Bexley City Schools received citations last year for public records violations.

Citations for public records violations statewide dipped by about 20 percent in 2017.

The state auditor’s office is releasing its year in review report during Sunshine Week, a national initiative recognizing public records access. 

"Well, the good news is that our citations for non-compliance, in other words, entities not following the law are down 22 percent," says Ohio Auditor Dave Yost. "And I think that's partly due to education, and partly due to the fact that we've put the word out that we're looking."

In 2017, more than 250 different public organizations in Ohio received citations—or roughly 5.5 percent of the total number of audits completed.

“You know that’s just—that’s not acceptable,” Yost says.  “Public records law is not that hard to figure out.”

Most of the sanctions have to do with missing training or failing to have policies in place for retaining and sharing records.

In Franklin County, 10 public entities received a total of 13 citations, including Bexley City Schools. According to a January 2017 audit, Bexley City Schools had not sent someone to legally required public records training since 2011.  

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.