Oregon AG Appoints New Transparency Chief
Salem, OR Last week Oregon Attorney General, John Kroger announced sweeping efforts to improve state and local level transparency, including the appointment of assistant attorney general, Michael Kron, as the new transparency chief. In his new position, Kron will be responsible for advising the state on open records questions and developing a statewide policy and associated training program to help local attorney offices to better understand the Oregon Public Records Law.
Kron's responsibilities will include addressing and issuing opinions for major requests, developing statewide standards and practices for responding to requests within the Attorney General's office, as well as developing programs to advise other government agencies concerning record exemptions and fees. In addition to the new post Kroger announced his intention to canvass the state, consulting state and local departments for suggestions or questions concerning new open records policies in order to develop policy proposals for the 2011 legislative session. This canvassing present only a part of Kroger's intiative. Kroger told the press, "A democracy cannot properly function without strong open government laws. We've implemented some immediate reforms that will improve transparency in state government. But I'm also committed to far greater changes."  While the major policy changes will only apply to the office of the Attorney General, the Governor's Office has expressed interest in pursuing similar reforms.
Kroger has established a number of tentative meetings in conjunction with the Oregon Newspaper Publishers' Association. The tentative dates are set as follows:
- February 11 - Salem
- March 25 - Portland
- April 29 - Bend
- May 6 - Eugene
- June 17 - Pendleton
- July 8 - Medford
More information can be found at Attorney General's Government Transparency Initiative.
Public records manual
Another step in this movement towards transparent government in Oregon is the release of a free online version of the states handbook on the Oregon Public Records Law and Oregon Public Meetings Law. Prior to its release, the manual cost $25 for a printed version. The online version can be found here : [www.doj.state.or.us/public_records/manual.shtml Oregon Public Records Manual]. 
- [www.doj.state.or.us/public_records/manual.shtml Oregon Public Records Manual]
- Oregon-Live, "One large step for openness"
- Gazzette Times, "Ore. AG names public records chief "
- News Review Today, "Oregon public records manual now online"
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- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Oregon-Live, "One large step for openness"
- ↑ Oregon Departmnet of Justice press release
- ↑ News Review Today, "Oregon public records manual now online"