Florida's Public Records Law

An Audit of Florida's Public Records Law

"Sunlight is the most powerful of all disinfectants."

-U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis


Introduction:

Audits of public records laws are ways to measure how a state's laws function for the people they are supposed to serve. This site introduces an audit of Florida's Public Records Law. Specifically, it will show that the law is not working as well as it should for the citizenry.

Access to government information is being thwarted in government agencies across the country, and Florida is no different. When citizens experience difficulty while attempting to access public records, it interferes with their rights to oversee government. Perhaps one of the greatest checks on government inefficiency or corruption is the public's right to access government information. For, as former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said of overseeing government, "Sunlight is the most powerful of all disinfectants."

Access to government information is also an avenue for effective decision-making among the citizenry. First Amendment philosopher Alexander Meiklejohn argued that an uninformed electorate would lead to "ill-considered, ill-balanced" voting choices, therefore threatening the nation as a whole.

Navigating this site:

This site is divided into three categories. The table below will explain what can be found in each section. The frame to the left will always be available for easy navigation between the sections.
Florida's Audit: This section will explain the audit of Florida's Open Records Law. It will detail the methods used to audit the functioning of the law, as well as the results and conclusions of the research.
Other States' Audits: This section will show how other states have audited their public records laws, and the results each state received.
Resources: This section will offer links to the resources used to compile this site. It will also give links to other sites that are helpful in understanding the public records laws in each of the 50 states.

If at anytime you would like to ask questions or make comments regarding this site or the information it contains, e-mail Michele Bush , the researcher who performed Florida's audit.