Lots of testimony from Pete Shepherd, who as Deputy AG did so much to destroy the promise of Dave Frohnmayer’s public records law – and famously lost the PERS case to the Oregonian, while working for Harrang et al. The new law, which comes out of AG Ellen Rosenblum and AAG Michael Kron’s reform committee, has a deadline – but with a loophole that puts transparency at the very bottom of the list of necessary Oregon government services:
… (5) As soon as reasonably possible but not later than 10 business days after the date by which a public body is required to acknowledge receipt of the request under ORS 192.440, a public body shall: (a) Complete its response to the public records request; or (b) Provide a written statement that the public body is still processing the request and a reasonable estimated date by which the public body expects to complete its response based on the information currently available. (6) The time periods established by ORS 192.440 and subsection (5) of this section do not apply to a public body if compliance would be impracticable because:
(a) The staff or volunteers necessary to complete a response to the public records request are unavailable;
(b) Compliance would demonstrably impede the public body’s ability to perform other necessary services; ….
Thanks to Paris Achen at the Portland Tribune for the link.