Let's Have A Chat - Start A Dialog

Better yet. LET'S SEE SOME DOCUMENTS!

You know what "other states" are doing? (Besides banning transfats, charging for saltwater fishing, taxing soda, and letting 14 year olds have abortions without their parents knowledge.) You know how we all like to copy NY and Ma. Lets start a new trend and adopt something sensible.

Other state are proposing Open Document Laws. Like this one from Minnesota:

H.F. No. 176, as introduced - 85th Legislative Session (2007-2008) A bill for an act relating to state government; establishing Preservation of State Documents Act; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 16E.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:


Section 1. [16E.0355] PRESERVATION OF STATE DOCUMENTS ACT.


Effective July 1, 2008, all documents including text, spreadsheets, and presentations

of the state of Minnesota shall be created, exchanged, maintained, and preserved in an

open, XML-based file format, as specified by the chief information office of the state,

that is:

(1) interoperable among diverse internal and external platforms and applications;

(2) fully published and available royalty-free;

(3) implemented by multiple vendors; and

(4) controlled by an open industry organization with a well-defined inclusive process

for evolution of the standard. By that date, the state of Minnesota shall be able to accept

all documents received in open document format for office applications and shall not

migrate to a file format currently used by only one organization.

 

Texas as well:

 

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT

relating to an open document format for electronic state documents.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1. Subchapter F, Chapter 2054, Government Code, is

amended by adding Section 2054.124 to read as follows:

Sec. 2054.124. OPEN DOCUMENT FORMAT REQUIRED. (a) In this

section, "state agency" means:

(1) a board, commission, council, department, office,

authority, or other agency in the executive branch of state

government created under the constitution or a statute of the

state, including an institution of higher education as defined by

Section 61.003, Education Code;

(2) the legislature or a legislative agency; or

(3) an appellate court or an agency in the judicial

branch of state government, including the State Bar of Texas.

(b) Each electronic document created, exchanged, or

maintained by a state agency must be created, exchanged, or

maintained in an open, Extensible Markup Language based file

format, specified by the department, that is:

(1) interoperable among diverse internal and external

platforms and applications;

(2) published without restrictions or royalties;

(3) fully and independently implemented by multiple

software providers on multiple platforms without any intellectual

property reservations for necessary technology; and

(4) controlled by an open industry organization with a

well-defined inclusive process for evolution of the standard.

© Each state agency must be able to receive electronic

documents in an open, Extensible Markup Language based file format

for office applications and may not change documents to a file

format used by only one vendor.

(d) The department shall develop guidelines for state

agencies to follow in determining whether existing electronic

documents must be converted to an open, Extensible Markup Language

based file format. In developing guidelines under this subsection,

the department shall consider:

(1) the cost of converting electronic documents;

(2) the need for public access to the documents; and

(3) the expected storage life of the documents.

SECTION 2. Not later than September 1, 2008, the Department

of Information Resources shall develop the guidelines required by

Section 2054.124(d), Government Code, as added by this Act.

SECTION 3. (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b) of this

section, Section 2054.124, Government Code, as added by this Act,

applies only to electronic documents created on or after the

effective date of this Act.

(b) Section 2054.124, Government Code, as added by this Act,

applies to electronic documents created, exchanged, or maintained

before the effective date of this Act only to the extent required by

the guidelines developed by the Department of Information Resources

under Section 2054.124(d), Government Code, as added by this Act.

SECTION 4. This Act takes effect December 1, 2007.

 

NH has a Right to Know Commission that was charged with protecting, while at the same time lawfully providing, individual medical records the State keeps. But the group morphed into a commission to gut the Right to Know Law, RSA 91-A, on behalf of school boards and selectmen as evidenced by their second attempt in two years at letting government bodies meet in secret as long as they report at the "next meeting" what they discussed. Oh yea that will happen.

 

So why don't we abandon the RTK Commission and have the Governor and Legislature follow the lead of the enlightened states and put their newfound power to good use and convert and post all government documents on the web.

 

Every check, invoice, receipt, contract, you name it.  

 

Think about it. NH Democrats could show how poorly Republicans ran the state for so long and how they are improving it.  Just post everything.

 

Any takers? Governor Lynch? The NH Senate? The House?