Full Disclosure

Full Disclosure

It's a simple equation: Transparency is only as good as the access available to public documents. With this in mind, CommonWealth has set up an information page to help residents wade through the state’s public records request system. Here you’ll find detailed information on making public records requests, links to records available online at state websites, as well as links to CommonWealth’s own growing public records database.

Records law doesn’t apply to governor

Records law doesn’t apply to governor

Galvin says Patrick's office is exempt

Another in a series of occasional articles concerning Massachusetts public records and open meetings laws. Responding to an appeal filed by CommonWealth, Secretary of State William F. Galvin officially ruled that Gov. Deval Patrick is not subject to the Massachusetts Public Records Law. The ruling, issued by Galvin’s top public records deputy, appears to be(...)

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Globe files suit on severance records

Globe files suit on severance records

A rundown of bills dealing with the Public Records Law

Another in a series of occasional articles on public records and open meetings issues. The Boston Globe is suing eight Massachusetts executive agencies plus the Massachusetts Port Authority and the Office of the Comptroller for their refusal to provide the names of employees who have received substantial severance and settlement payments, despite being ordered to(...)

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Rebate records withheld by state

Rebate records withheld by state

Names of rebate recipients ruled public records, but Patrick administration refusing to hand them over

Second in a series of occasional articles on rulings issued by the Secretary of State’s office concerning appeals of public records requests filed with public agencies. The Great Appliance Exchange last year was a big hit. The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, working with Mass Save, an organization composed of Massachusetts gas and electric utilities,(...)

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“Tracking the truth” timeline and documents

The Story FOR 19 MONTHS, the MBTA allowed South Shore commuter trains to run at top speed over rails supported by crumbling concrete ties even though the transit authority knew all of the ties needed to be replaced because of defects. T officials say passengers were never in danger, but recently released documents indicate agency(...)

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Per Diem Payments

These daily stipends paid to senators and representatives for travel, meals, and lodging whether the Legislature is in session or not. You can view them by clicking here; note that each PDF is for multiple lawmakers. House Senate House Aguiar Alicea Arciero Ashe Atkins Allen Atsalis Ayers Balser Barrows Basile Benson Binienda Bowles Bradley Brownsberger(...)

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Missed opportunity

Ethics reform has done little to make public officials' financial data — and their possible conflicts of interest — accessible to taxpayers in Massachusetts

INTRO TEXT In the wake of the indictments of former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson and former House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, a State House under siege by a fed-up public recently fashioned the first major ethics reform in 30 years. The legislation increased penalties for ethics violations and corruption, severely limited lobbyist activities, clamped down on(...)

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