The goal of government transparency and accountability embodied in the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is frequently undermined when government entities delay responses to requests, claim unwarranted exemptions, or fail to respond at all.
Will you support Illinoisans’ right to full and prompt access to the public records needed to understand the operation of state and local government and hold public officials accountable? If so, how? If not, why?
DID NOT RESPOND.
I will support Illinoisans’ right to full and prompt access to public records to ensure government transparency and government accountability. When government entities delay responses to FOIA requests, claim unwarranted exemptions, or fail to respond at all, I will seek to initiate quo warranto proceedings against the FOIA officer that is failing to objectively adhere to their duties and have them removed from their position. I believe after enough government employees are removed from their positions, other FOIA officers will follow the letter of the law in making disclosures of information requested through FOIA. If every single FOIA officer has to be removed from their position in order to get the point across, then so be it.
I believe that the number one deterrent to public corruption is sunshine. That is why I sponsored legislation establishing in statute the Office of the Public Access Counselor in order to expedite responses to Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act complaints. Members of the media and the general public should be able to access all information to which they are entitled as quickly as possible, so elected officials can be held accountable and so voters and taxpayers understand what governments are doing with their authority and money.
FOIA is a powerful tool, but only to the extent that government bodies comply with it. One of my top priorities as attorney general will be assuring that the Public Access Counselor is appropriately staffed to respond quickly and accurately to FOIA requests and complaints.