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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Grouch gets results

University of Oregon Professor Bill Harbaugh (right), a classic troublemaker, has been relentlessly hassling the administrators of his university for many years. As just one example, it seems likely that he's one of the voices (if not the only voice) reflected on the anonymous blog UO Matters. Back in September, he made waves when he posted to the internet a copy of an extensive manual on Oregon law regarding public records, which had been produced by the state attorney general's office. The AG's office had been asserting that the manual was subject to copyright protection, and it was charging $25 a copy for it. Oh, the irony.

Well, lo and behold, today that office has not only reversed itself and posted the manual to the internet, where it is available free, but also launched a serious initiative to enhance compliance with, and implementation of, the public records and public meetings laws. The press release from the state explains that, in addition to the posting of the full manual --

[t]he Oregon Department of Justice web site now includes a Citizen's Guide to Public Records and Public Meetings. The guide is designed for citizens who need a quick and easy understanding of Oregon’s open government laws.

A new online Public Records Request Form is also now available. Previously, public records request forms needed to be printed out and mailed or faxed. The form is designed for requesting records from the Department of Justice.

Attorney General Kroger also has created the Government Transparency Counsel, a new position in the Department of Justice designed to ensure that state government properly complies with state transparency laws.

The next step is a systematic review of Oregon's open government laws to identify weak points and suggest improvements for the 2011 Legislature. This effort requires input from the public, the media and government officials. To that end, Attorney General Kroger will conduct meetings around the state that will be co-sponsored by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers' Association.

Sounds like old cranky Bill has made a positive difference. And kudos to the AG for taking time out of his busy schedule of indicting Republican face cards to get something good done on an important topic.

Comments (6)

I love a good trouble maker. They are the true heroes of our times. Mr Bogdanski is right there at the top!

Uh, thanks Jack. This will look great on my vitae...

The State of Oregon Medical Examiner's Board does not publish the list of Medical Doctors with complaint records. If a person is looking for a new Doctor or trying to select a specialist, the first information resource should be to pull up that list, which public taxes has paid for, and review the records of all Doctors they are considering. Now one must just ask around and hope they stumble into meaningful information before entrusting their body and future.
Now, the State requires a person to send in an application along with $10.00 for the record of EACH Doctor under consideration.
The Oregonian obtained all records from the Oregon Malpractice Database and published them in 2005, which revealed certain doctors with multiple complaints often with dire consequences and a large settlement. Why, pray tell, should that be kept a secret from innocent current and future patients.
Information is Power!
It is time that list is published for all to review at any time.
I do have that old list yet, better than nothing.

Here is the Ore. State Medical Board of Examiner's list of Doctor complaints obtained and published by the Oregonian in 2005. My list doesn't show all docs, but you can punch in your Doctor's name in the
Search Site too.
That complete current list should be published and available http://www.oregonlive.com/oregonian/malpractice/search/index.ssf?/cgi-bin/edb/search.cgiat all times and without charge.


Hopefully this will open this time.

Also, find a Doc at "Search Database"
not "search site"

However, it would appear that Mr Kroger has actually struck hard again at the public's right to know:

Fake left, go right, in the Harvard Law School manner.

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