[CivicAccess-Discuss] Access to public records

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[CivicAccess-Discuss] Access to public records

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Hello Nigel, Barry,

Some of what you ask is covered generally through open data (varying highly in its breadth and depth by jurisdiction). Also, many of these open data portals are not generally accessible by the average citizen, so even if the public records are there, very few would be able to make sense of them directly.

I did come across this excellent example from Washington D.C last week. (https://yro.slashdot.org/story/18/11/25/2335229/washington-dc-made-github-its-official-digital-source-for-laws) All municipal laws are online via the code hosting/editing service GitHub. Citizens can suggest edits line by line, and in fact one local civic tech advocate had a suggestion (a typo) acted upon and resolved! Clearly there are limits, but I'm intrigued by the possibilities of not just government-to-citizen delivery of information, but in how citizens can contribute more directly.


Peter Johnson
Associate Professor
Department of Geography and Environmental Management
University of Waterloo

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Today's Topics:

   1. Barry Wellar's request (Nigel Waters)


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Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2018 04:51:11 +0000
From: Nigel Waters <[hidden email]>
To: civicaccess discuss <[hidden email]>
Cc: Barry Wellar <[hidden email]>
Subject: [CivicAccess-Discuss] Barry Wellar's request
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Barry Wellar just sent this request to the CAGList.

I thought that someone from this list might be able to help him out.

Nigel Waters

The question remains: does anyone know of a jurisdiction where citizens have free, easy, timely, direct online access to public records? If so, I welcome learning about this jurisdiction.

Barry Wellar

I wanted to share a story with you from Ottawa Citizen:

Wellar: We need free, easy access to public records



Wellar: We need free, easy access to public records<https://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/wellar-we-need-free-easy-access-to-public-records>
The 2018 municipal election campaign in Ontario was marked by numerous media reports that faulted municipal governments for failing to provide citizens with free, easy and timely access to municipa?

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