Quinn Wants Illinois Government To Share More Data

Sep 19, 2012

Illinois will step up the government data it puts online under an executive order issued by Governor Pat Quinn. The move comes even as Quinn is keeping information generated by his office under wraps.

Quinn's order will unleash reams of data to an online clearinghouse.

He's commanding all state agencies, departments and boards to release information they deem could increase public knowledge to data.illinois.gov.

The website's already up and running, but the governor wants to expand it.

All facets of state government, and if they're willing, local governments. will use the same operating standards so collective data's searchable, and all in one spot.

In a press release, the governor's Chief Information Officer says Quinn's strengthening Illinois' role in "citizen engagement and transparency." But media attorney Don Craven has a different view.

"This reminds me very much of 'do as I say and not as I do'" Craven said.

"Despite the claims of transparency, the actions of this administration have been to take the exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act to new and greater lengths to deprive the public to access of public documents" Craven adds.

Craven says Quinn's office refused to release emails sent by aides that could have revealed if the governor moved the location of an event in Southern Illinois to avoid protestors. Quinn's also breaking tradition by refusing to allow journalists to tour state prisons.  

The governor’s office maintains Quinn has brought “unprecedented transparency” to state government. A spokeswoman says the administration receives a high volume of FOIA requests, and responds to each in as transparent a fashion as possible.