In the News

Hall-Long’s campaign audit reveals a stark reality: Delaware deserves greater transparency

The News Journal | A News Journal Editorial (Read full article)

We join Delaware Common Cause and the Delaware Coalition for Open Government in calling on Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long to release an audit of her campaign finances — even though she is not required to do so by Delaware Law.

Hall-Long, who seeks the governor’s seat in 2024, has called the audit an act of transparency, but she has continued to decline to release the document itself…


Delaware State Police purchase of facial recognition software prompts some calls for oversight

Delaware Public Media | by Paul Kiefer (Read full article)

In March, the Delaware State Police secured a $15,000 grant — funded through the state’s civil asset forfeiture revenues — to purchase the facial recognition software Clearview AI, which will enable the agency’s biometrics unit to compare investigative images to an open-source database of images scraped from the internet…


This is why Delaware needs an inspector general | Opinion

The News Journal | Opinion | by Delaware Coalition for Open Government & Delaware Press Association (Read full article)

Lead-contaminated water that is poisoning children in our public schools is only the most recent tragedy in a growing list of serious problems that highlight the need for government oversight in Delaware. The First State does not have any form of independent, nonpartisan government oversight. That, too, is a serious problem. That is why we need a Delaware Office of the Inspector General.

The Inspector General would investigate corruption, waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in Delaware government and would release public reports on all investigations. The Inspector General also would work in concert with the Attorney General and the State Auditor to ensure crimes and financial wrongdoing are exposed and those responsible are held accountable…


Group pushes for inspector general in Delaware

Cape Gazette | by Melissa Steel (Read full article)

More transparency and accountability are needed in government, say officials who gathered April 24 to talk about creating a new inspector general position.

Hosted by the Delaware Coalition for Open Government and the Delaware Press Association, a panel discussed the need for a Delaware Inspector General to investigate issues of corruption, waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement in the state government…


Local officials, open-government advocates, discuss need for Inspector General

Delaware Public Media | by Rachel Sawicki (Read full article)

State Rep. Mike Smith and State Sen. Laura Sturgeon plan to sponsor a bill authorizing the creation of an Inspector General’s Office. A similar bill was introduced last session, but languished in committee.

Sturgeon says an inspector general’s office would cost about $1 million per year, which she argues is a good investment to bolster the public’s trust in government…


Panel to discuss establishing an inspector general in Delaware

Delaware State News (Read full article)

The Delaware Coalition for Open Government and the Delaware Press Association will host “Ensuring Transparency and Accountability: Why Delaware Needs an Inspector General Now!” from 7-8:30 p.m. Monday.

The virtual panel discussion will be moderated by the coalition’s president, John Kowalko III, and focus on the need to establish an independent, nonpartisan Delaware Office of the Inspector General. A Q&A will follow…


Delaware lawmaker drops plans for FOIA ‘abuse’ bill. Here’s why

The News Journal | by Sarah Gamard (Read full article)

The leading Democrat behind a bill seeking to give government officials more power to hide public documents from the public says she is pumping the brakes on the legislation after criticism over its potential repercussions.

“Out of respect to our shared interest in an open and transparent (government), I have paused this legislation to continue conversations,” Sen. Kyle Evans Gay, D-Talleyville, wrote …


Critics say FOIA ‘abuse’ bill bad for Delaware government transparency

The News Journal | by Xerxes Wilson & Sarah Gamard (Read full article)

Democratic lawmakers and Attorney General Kathy Jennings are seeking to give government officials more power to hide public documents from the public.

A bill proposing those changes passed its first committee hurdle earlier this week. It seeks to empower government officials to deny requests for public records that those officials deem “unreasonably broad, unduly burdensome, abusive” or intended to “disrupt the essential functions of the public body.”

Advocates of open government have criticized the legislation, saying the vague language in Senate Bill 155 would allow government officials to withhold more receipts, emails and other documents that show the work of public officials and cover up things they do not want exposed…