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Colorado sixth in access to records

Monte Whaley
The Denver Post

Colorado does a decent job of making public records available online, but there are roadblocks for those seeking access to some reports, says a new study of openness in state government.

Colorado State University advanced reporting students assessed the free, online availability of 20 types of public records, part of a Sunshine Week project by journalism groups to help safeguard citizen access to government.

In Colorado, 15 of the 20 types of records were found online with free access. Colorado tied for sixth place among 50 states in the number of records found in the survey.



“I believe state officials for the most part do understand the importance of making public information readily available to citizens,” said Kris Kodrich, an associate professor of journalism at CSU.

Colorado provides good access in such categories as personal financial disclosure reports for state officials, internal and external audit reports, teacher certifications and child-care inspection reports.



But only limited information about bridge inspection reports in Colorado, considered public, is available online. Other categories, such as environmental citations and violations, are difficult to find or have different sets of instructions for access, depending on the agencies, the report said.


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