Our media monitoring for mentions of FGI recently pulled up the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information at http://www.mncogi.org. According to the organization’s About page, it’s mission is "promote public access to government activity and information." The page also carries their guiding principles which we at FGI agree with almost entirely:
MnCOGI carries out its mission through uniting, informing and enhancing the impact of organizations and individuals committed to open access to public records.
It is the active responsibility of government to promote public participation supported by open access to accurate public information by and about the government.
Documents/records produced with public funds, regardless of physical format, are part of the public record.
Compliance with open meeting and public records laws must be monitored and enforced by responsibility authorities and institutions that are held accountable.
Because collection, maintenance and preservation of information are the responsibility of each government office each must be held accountable.
Research and education are essential to preserve and improve access to public information.
Education and support for all Minnesotans about their rights and responsibilities is best accomplished through a broad-based coalition of informed advocates for open access.
Preservation of public records is a critical part of achieving accountability to be encouraged by MnCOGI.
MnCOGI will link with and support parallel efforts at the federal level while maintaining a specific focus on the free flow of information on public policy matters at the state and local levels in Minnesota.
About the only quibble we have with MnCOGI is that we believe that collection, maintenance and preservation of information are responsibilities too important to be left to each government office. They must be assisted in those tasks by third parties with fewer axes to grind, like libraries. But this is a minor quibble given the level of involvement by libraries in MnCOGI.
One last thing we appreciate about MnCOGI is that they have signed up nonlibrarian organizations like the MN Newspapers Association to their efforts. Congratulations on that. Keep up your important work!
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