Radio Station Commemorates Sunshine Week - Open Government is a Requirement for an Informed Public

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Freedom Of Information Act works for everyone, not just reporters.

We're being reminded of the importance of an open, accountable government as journalism groups this week commemorate Sunshine Week. It's called Sunshine Week, as throwing a light on government ensures it operates in the public interest. Every publicly funded government agency is required to make records publicly available unless there is a compelling reason to withhold them. Anyone, not just journalists, can file a Freedom of Information Act request. The government agency must respond, either by providing the information or by explaining why it will not or cannot

Jackson area radio station 96.7 FLR (WUFN) daily files Freedom of Information Act requests with the Michigan Lottery Commission. The station seeks the total number of wagers made for each drawing of the Michigan Winfall and Michigan sales of the multi-state MegaMillions games. It compares those sales figures with the publicly published numbers of winners to determine how many losing wagers are made for each drawing. The Lottery Commission normally does comply with the request, usually within a day or two.

The station has also contacted several state lawmakers, suggesting legislation that would compel the Lottery Commission to make those figures publicly available without having to file FOIA requests. To date, there has been no response from legislators.


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Robert Parson
96.7 FLR
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