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State Agency Open Records Practices

June 20, 2019

Gov. Henry McMaster, S.C. Inspector General Release Study on State Agency Open Records Practices

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Henry McMaster and S.C. Inspector General Brian Lamkin today released a survey conducted by the Office of the Inspector General of 35 state agencies' policies and procedures related to the amended Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which Governor McMaster signed into law in May of 2017. 

“We want South Carolina to lead the country in having the most open records laws and most informed public,” Gov. Henry McMaster said at a press conference today.

Additionally, Governor McMaster issued Executive Order 2019-21, which directs the 18 agencies within his cabinet to use the results of the inspector general’s survey to strengthen FOIA practices and submit a report to the governor’s office verifying compliance with the letter and spirit of the law by the end of this year.

“Today I’m issuing an executive order directing every cabinet agency to conduct a thorough review of their open records policies, practices, and procedures utilizing the inspector general’s findings and recommendations to make any necessary amendments or adjustments in their policies and procedures,” said Governor McMaster. 

Upon appointing Inspector General Lamkin in 2017, Governor McMaster urged the Mr. Lamkin to use the authority of the office to “make every effort to direct agencies towards transparency.” Subsequently, the governor requested a formal report on the agency FOIA practices and the Office of the Inspector General fulfilled that request through a sample survey of 35 agencies.