Bill Galvin Dodges FOIA Request

Massachusetts Citizens for Jobs is disappointed but not surprised that Secretary of State Bill Galvin has failed to respond to our FOIA request. On June 12, 2015, we requested all the formal correspondence between Bill Galvin and the legislative leadership and their senior staff. We filed this request to uncover what, if anything, Secretary Galvin was doing to make good on his promise to fight for public records reform. If he was truly leading the charge on reform as he claims, there would certainly be a paper trail about his advocacy.

Six months later, Bill Galvin has still not turned over any relevant information. Instead of responding, Secretary Galvin has chosen to brazenly ignore the FOIA request, treating it as though it never even happened. We have yet to hear from Galvin or his office, even as the deadline for responding has passed. This is yet another example of how Secretary Galvin is part of the problem, not part of the solution, on public records reform.

Normally, FOIA issues are appealed to Secretary Galvin’s office. This case shows one of the many flaws with this system, because we would be expected to appeal the case to the same office we are trying to get information from. Thinking that they would be impartial under these circumstances requires the willing suspension of disbelief.

Bill Galvin simply cannot be taken seriously on FOIA reform. He talks about fighting for public access and reform, but the rhetoric is never matched with results. He did not file the ballot initiative he promised, and now he cannot even follow the existing FOIA guidelines. Even after six full months, he has not been responsive with a single document or e-mail. Clearly, Bill Galvin has no interest in transparency and cannot be trusted to fight for public records reform.

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