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Training continues despite Evers’ transparency troubles

Empower Wisconsin | Dec. 12,  2019

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON — While Gov. Tony Evers administration has failed on nearly every government transparency front, a holdover policy from his predecessor is at least making sure state employees are up to speed on Wisconsin’s open record laws. 

Not that Evers’ office in particular will follow those laws, but it’s nice to know the information is out there. 

All state employees still are required to go through open records training and take a quiz to become certified before the end of the year, state employees tell Empower Wisconsin. 

The requirement is not an Evers administration remedy for all the open government problems that ails it. Former Gov. Scott Walker, whose administration was recognized for transparency initiatives, put the training expectations in place. 

It’s certainly not a transparency panacea. State employees need only score a 60 out of 100 to be certified on open records. 

Evers’ administration has made life difficult for the public and for journalists to obtain state government information. The governor’s legal counsel has repeatedly denied requests for even basic information, including just one day of the governor’s emails. 

A review of the Evers administration’s open government practices found a “disturbing departure from” Walker’s policies. The analysis, conducted by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty found the administration to be “dysfunctional and disorganized” in handling requests for public information.

Empower Wisconsin this week sought information from the Evers administration about the open records training. An official from the Department of Administration on Wednesday said the agency was processing the information request. 

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