Michigan governor promotes transparency in new FOIA executive directive

Environmental group applauds governor for move

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. (WDIV)
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – On Friday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive directive that encourages state departments to work with residents who request information.

The Michigan Environmental Council says the move makes it clear that the Freedom of Information Act is important to Whitmer's administration. 

The executive directive includes ways in which state departments can enhance their transparency, including holding more publically accessible meetings.

It also asks for departments to name a liaison who will provide assistance for people navigating the FOIA process and to create advocates in transparency when available. 

“We applaud Governor Whitmer for emphasizing the importance of the Freedom of Information Act and encouraging more transparency in our state government,” said Michigan Environmental Council Policy Director James Clift.

“The state of Michigan clearly has a transparency problem -- look no further than the Flint water crisis or PFAS to find examples of this. To efficiently address these public health threats, as well as prevent them from happening in the first place, Michigan needs to place a greater emphasis on keeping its residents informed. This is a step in the right direction, and we look forward to working with Governor Whitmer and the legislature to further increase transparency, including ensuring that FOIA covers the legislature and the governor's office.”

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