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It’s not enough to just say you want transparency, governor

Monday, Aug 12, 2019

* WICS/WRSP

The Office of the Attorney General has ruled that the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) improperly withheld information from NewsChannel 20.

In April, NewsChannel 20 asked DCFS for the “names of DCFS and private agency employees who had their Child Welfare employee Licenses revoked, suspended, or relinquished, or have pending charges filed in FY2018.”

We also asked for the charges they were or are currently facing, along with information describing any charges the employees may have faced since being licensed.

DCFS failed to give us the proper records.

The attorney general’s opinion is here. Pretty straight-forward stuff.

* The station asked the governor about the AG opinion today

Well, I’m the first person to say that we want full transparency and make sure we’re revealing any information… We need to be as transparent as we possibly can be.

Yeah, except for the undisputed fact that his own agency deliberately withheld a list of alleged bad actors.

Sheesh.

I’m not sure what the FOIA process entails these days, but during the previous administration the governor’s office was given a copy of every information request and was kept in the loop about what would be handed out and what would be withheld.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

7 Comments »
  1. - Responsa - Monday, Aug 12, 19 @ 3:38 pm:

    I fear the governor and his staff may have inadvertently picked up some bad political traits/habits from watching Illinois and Chicago pols in action over the years. I knew there’d be a learning curve in some areas for him as an outsider. But I had at least hoped for better from him transparency-wise. That shouldn’t be so hard.


  2. - Downstate - Monday, Aug 12, 19 @ 3:49 pm:

    Give the governor a break. Isn’t releasing the social security number of every boat owner in the state a testament to his transparency?


  3. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Aug 12, 19 @ 4:04 pm:

    DoIT is a Rauner creation. Actually, it is the Exxon Valdez, headed for the rocks, and Ron Guerrier has a helm the size of a thimble … /s


  4. - Tom Turkey - Monday, Aug 12, 19 @ 4:08 pm:

    === I’m not sure what the FOIA process entails these days ===

    Whelp, I think we know what it is going to entail moving forward.

    So, here is the money question: whose name appears on the list?

    If it is someone that is connected to the new administration, this is doubly bad.


  5. - Interested - Monday, Aug 12, 19 @ 4:22 pm:

    Pritzker always does a nice job of saying what sounds like the right thing, after the fact. lol.


  6. - JSS - Monday, Aug 12, 19 @ 4:40 pm:

    ===during the previous administration the governor’s office was given a copy of every information request===

    Former FOIA Officer for the duration of the previous administration here, the process you describe is close to being accurate, but the GO didn’t receive a copy of each request, just FOIAs the agencies identified as potentially casting the administration in a bad light or otherwise identified as being potentially controversial. These FOIAs were specifically flagged for the GO FOIA Officer and legal team. Even then the GO tended to not have much interest in FOIAs from smaller media markets, so a FOIA from WICS may not have received much attention from the GO to begin with.

    The GO did receive a spreadsheet weekly listing the FOIAs received during the week, but copies of requests were not included, just a summary of who the requester is and what is being requested.


  7. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Aug 12, 19 @ 5:20 pm:

    Sorry, no DCFS info. But could I interest you in the social security numbers of boat owners?


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