No oversight, no accountability (Wells)

November 19, 2015
The News Journal

No oversight, no accountability

One of the major reasons Delaware is ranked 48th in accountability and transparency is because our legislators have passed a Freedom of Information Act that is so fatally flawed that agencies can claim information is available when it is not. Delaware Attorney General’s Office based on interpretation of the meaning of “reasonable assistance” will support this effort.

I submitted a Freedom of Information request to our Auditor of Accounts for audit reports that by Delaware law they are required to conduct. Auditors of Accounts did not respond to my request until after I submitted a complaint to the Department of Justice.

After informing the DOJ I could not locate the reports, the DOJ informed me: “It appears that the auditor provided access to the information sought by your original FOIA request, and also directed you to the website where the applicable reports ‘may be’ found. The DOJ therefore considers this matter closed and your petition to this office is moot.”

In order for me to determine if our Auditors of Account is conducting audits as required by law, I must [apparently] file and pay for a Writ of Mandamus.

In Delaware, legislators are opposed to oversight on state agencies; our legislators believe oversight on state agencies is the resident’s responsibility, while taking the opposite position on oversight on the people they were elected to represent.

Jack Wells

Here’s a link to the survey in which Delaware came in 48th overall for transparency & accountability and also received an “F” for public access to information . Center for Public Integrity, 11/9/15.

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