Experts Reveal Powerful Secrets and Strategies for Obtaining Public Records
Information needed that is only available through public records is often denied. Two public records experts have written a book - The Art of Access: Strategies for Obtaining Public Records - to help the average consumer gain access to these records even if they have been denied.
David Cuillier and Charles Davis collaborated on the book to show the public what they need to do when requesting public records and for obtaining ones that have been denied. David Cuillier is a professor at the University of Arizona and the Chairman of the Society of Professional Journalists’ National Freedom of Information Committee. Charles Davis is the executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition.
According to their expertise in this matter, the addition of psychology, government culture and persuasion may need to be added to the list of things needed by the public to access these records.
The book is not a list showing what agencies are responsible for keeping certain records. It details the process that those requesting these records should use especially if they cannot afford to sue to access them. A site is available for finding what types of records certain agencies provide is http://www.checkpublicrecords.org.
According to David Cuillier, “What we tried to do that is different, I think, is put together in one place an explanation of the complete process for getting public records, with nuts-and-bolts strategies and a focus on understanding human interaction for getting an agency to provide documents without going to court.”
Average denial of access to public information, such as a crime report happens 71% of the time they are requested. The denials are not legal and not many people have resources to sue the agencies and force them to provide a copy of the information.
In many instances, the person searching for records needs to know what the best way of dealing with the agencies entails. Using many experts as well as drawing from their own experience, the guide is also based on input from requesters who have become frustrated with the system.
If you need a public record and are unsure of the agency that is responsible for providing this record, you will want to check out the site at http://www.checkpublicrecords.org.
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