High Price Keeps Sunshine Disclosures In The Dark

Number 26244
Subject FOIA
Source WFXT (Dedham, MA)
State Mass.
Year 2013
Publication Date May 19, 0, 21; July 25; Dec. 29
Summary This series of reports exposed evidence of nepotism in the state hiring process in Massachusetts and unfolded into a months-long battle to obtain state hiring records in which employees disclose relatives who are already working for state government. Since 2003, people hired by the state have had to fill out something called a Sunshine Disclosure. These disclosures were intended to shine light on the people getting hired to ensure that nepotism is not taking precedence over the hiring of the most qualified person for a position. But after we attempted to obtain Sunshine Disclosures for the office in which we documented questionable hires, the state sent us a bill for nearly $70,000. We did manage to obtain a smaller sample of Sunshine Disclosures and discovered one in four employees hired did, in fact, already have relatives on the payroll. As a result of our reporting, a state lawmaker is filing a bill to make Sunshine Disclosures more easily accessible to the public. .
Category Contest Entry -- FOIA Award Category
Pages
Keywords nepotism; government; foia; sunshine requests
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