State Auditor Dave Yost said Monday he would conduct a test of sorts for Sunshine Law compliance throughout the state, with reviews of 20 counties and cities.
Mr. Yost said in a news release that the review, timed to coincide with Sunshine Week, will fulfill a promise he made last year to audit public records compliance during the 2012 audit cycle.
“These records belong to the people, and our governments know the right way to make them available,” Mr. Yost said. “This week will be a good test to see how well we’re doing.”
The announcement comes as the auditor is locked in his own battle over public records with
Gov. John Kasich’s administration and GOP legislative leaders, who want to quickly pass an amendment clarifying that certain records of the privatized JobsOhio development arm of the state aren’t subject to Ohio’s open records laws.
Mr. Yost said his local government examination is based on a 2011 bulletin he issued titled “Best Practices for Responding to Public Records Requests-Updated.”
“The audit will analyze procedures to determine if each entity has controls to ensure compliance with the Ohio Public Records Act. Auditors from eight regions will each examine two or three cities or counties,” his office reported.
“Among the standards to be examined are prompt response to requests for inspections and response within a reasonable time for copies. Auditors also will examine records retention schedules related to public records requests, and best practice procedures such as training, redaction practices and documentation of response.”