By Cowboy State Daily
Public records sought from the state auditor’s office for several years will be released online and available for public review within two weeks, according to the founder of a website that posts public documents.
Adam Andrzejewski, founder of “OpenTheBooks.com” said during a meeting with legislative leaders on Friday that an item-by-item list of state spending will be released by his organization soon, capping a legal battle that begain in 2015.
Andrzejewski’s group, which focuses on releasing documents having to do with government financing, asked state Auditor Cynthia Cloud for the information in 2015, but she denied the document request. Cloud said the compilation of the information would make it impossible for her office to do its job properly.
In 2018, Cloud said she would release the documents for a fee of $8,000.
Andrzejewski told the legislative leaders that the information should be available on his website in one to two weeks.
He added he believes Cloud resisted the group’s requests because the documents contained embarrassing information.
“So in about 10 days, it’s going to be very interesting for the people of Wyoming to take a look at exactly where their tax dollars went and where they were spent by state government,” he said.
Andrzejewski’s appearance in Cheyenne was sponsored by Foster Friess, an unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor in last year’s election. In the interest of full disclosure, it is being noted that Friess is an investor in the Cowboy State Daily.
OpenTheBooks.com has often given Wyoming failing records for transparency because of the number of government agencies at the state and local level that have declined to provide requested documents.
Concerns over government transparency have prompted the Legislature’s Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee to propose changes to Wyoming’s Public Documents Act.
Changes recommended by the committee in SF 57 include setting a deadline for government officials to release public documents in response to a request and setting criminal penalties for officials who knowingly or intentionally withhold public documents.