Tag: Center for Public Integrity

No Freedom of Information in S.C.

Despite the state freedom of information law requiring public records be released to persons requesting them at the “lowest possible cost,” such is hardly ever the case in South Carolina.

Public agencies whose ethically challenged politicians and appointed public officials excel in backroom deals, conflicts of interest and downright gouging of the public purse are not about to turn over information to the public that could possibly shed light on these activities.

Earlier this year, when S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis tried to get investment records from the S.C. Retirement Systems Investment Commission, of which Loftis is a commissioner, the good ole boys tried to get him thrown off the commission board.

SC Ranks Worst in Freedom of Information

SC Ranks Worst in Freedom of Information

South Carolina continues to stand out in the negative as it ranked dead last among the 50 states in access to public government information in a study done by the Center for Public Integrity.

This comes on top of a ranking, by the same organization, of 45 out of 50 for public corruption risk several months ago.

None of the 50 states received an A as Connecticut ranked number one with a B+. Nearly half, 23 out of 50, received an F for freedom of information. In dealings we have had with freedom of information at the federal level, it’s hard to imagine the federal government would receive a grade above F also.

South Carolina, High Risk for Government Corruption

A nationwide analysis of state governments released over the weekend ranked South Carolina 45th out of the 50 states for potential for government corruption. This, of course, only enforces what those of us who cover government on a regular basis already know.

Citing government secrecy, little accountability for legislators and the executive branch, weak ethics enforcement and little disclosure of legislators’ finances, the state received an F in nine out of the 14 categories studied and a D- in a 10th category.

The only areas where South Carolina received adequate grades were procurement, redistricting, lobbying disclosure and internal auditing.