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AG Kilmartin Hosts Open Government Summit

16th Annual Summit Scheduled for Friday, August 1st

Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin is pleased to announce that the latest installment of his Open Government Summit is scheduled for Friday, August 1, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, RI. The Summit is free and open to the public; community members, public employees, elected officials and all those interested in learning more about transparency and accountability in government are encouraged to attend.

"The Office of Attorney General is charged with investigating complaints for violations of the Access to Public Records Act and the Open Meetings Act. Each complaint filed with the office is reviewed with great due diligence and care to ensure that public bodies are complying with the letter of the law and that the complainants are afforded a process that reflects our shared commitment to open government," said Attorney General Kilmartin.

"Compared to a year ago at this time, we have seen an increase of approximately 50 percent in Open Meetings Act complaints and Access to Public Records Act complaints filed with the Office. While not a scientific study by any means, based on this increase in complaints filed with the Office, I believe the public has embraced the office's role as citizen watchdog to ensure the government is being transparent and responsive to the needs of its citizens, and recognizes that the opinions of this office are thorough, thoughtful, and fair," added Kilmartin.

After opening remarks by Attorney General Kilmartin and Michael J. Yelnosky, Dean for Roger Williams University School of Law, Assistant Attorney General Michael W. Field, chief of the Open Government Unit, and Special Assistant Attorney General Lisa Pinsonneault will give a presentation explaining the statutory requirements of the state's Access to Public Records Act and the Open Meetings Act. The presentation will include 2013/2014 case law, best practices and examples of frequent trouble areas.

The Summit will feature a Q&A session with the Open Government Unit, and a panel discussion involving accessing meetings and records from the public and media perspective. Panelists include WJAR-TV I-Team Investigative reporter Katie Davis, Providence Journal columnist Ed Fitzpatrick, Johnston City Solicitor William Conley, Esq., and Pawtucket City Clerk and president of the Rhode Island Town Clerks Association Richard Goldstein.

Details: Space is limited, and individuals who would like to attend the Open Government Summit must register with the Office of Attorney General. To register, please call (401) 274-4400, ext. 2101, or email agsummit@riag.ri.gov.

Fully embracing the idea of accessible government, Attorney General Kilmartin is once again partnering with ClerkBase to stream the presentation live through the Attorney General's website, www.riag.ri.gov. In addition, staff from the Office of Attorney General will be live tweeting throughout the event (hashtag #OpenGovRI).

Individuals may submit questions in advance that will be answered during the Q&A portion of the Summit at agsummit@riag.ri.gov. Check-in takes place from 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

An agenda for the event is available on the Attorney General's website at www.riag.ri.gov.

Related links

Department or agency: Department of the Attorney General

Online: http://www.riag.ri.gov/

Release date: 07-22-2014

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