Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed a new executive directive moving forward on her promises to address government transparency.
Effective immediately, Michigan state departments are required to update their systems to accept credit card payments for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
“This executive directive enhances the transparency and openness of state government, making it easier for any Michigander to access departmental records,” Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a news release. “Effective immediately, all Michigan State Departments are required to begin modifying their systems to accept credit card payments for all fees associated with the production of documents under FOIA. We will continue to push things forward and make sure to make improvements where possible.
While this is another step forward in the state’s attempt to promote transparency in government, it’s important to note that Michigan does not require the governor’s office to respond to requests. FOIA. Michigan lawmakers are also excluded from FOIA requests, and in recent years Michigan has ranked last in government transparency.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel recently announced that his office will soon also be accepting credit card payments for FOIA requests.
Credit card payments and lack of access to the governor’s office aren’t the only problems with Michigan’s FOIA process.
Last summer, a local reporter was quoted $284,541.48 after submitting a claim to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.