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Sharp tackles transparency and accountability with two bills

For Immediate Release REVISED 5 For Immediate Release REVISED 5
OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, says Oklahoma ranks among the weakest in the nation when responding to Open Records and Freedom of Information Act requests. On Monday, he filed two bills, Senate Bills 1137 and 1154, to tackle this issue and bring the state up to standard.

SB 1154 would require any request under the Open Records Act to be fulfilled within 30 days. If the request is unable to be fulfilled in that time period, the record provider could receive an additional 30 days to prepare the requested documents upon written notice to the requestor.

“Under current Oklahoma law, there’s no deadline for responding to Open Records requests,” Sharp said. “Each agency is required to have a designated staffer to provide the requested documents. My goal for SB 1154 is to add confidence that our state is transparent and accountable to public requests in a timely manner.”

SB 1137 would require the Attorney General to give an opinion in writing to any request by the legislature, a state officer, board, commission or department within 90 days of the request.

“There should be an anticipated response time when requesting the Attorney General’s opinion,” Sharp said. “Often, the issues presented in an Attorney General’s request are complex, but an unlimited response time can be extremely costly for taxpayers. Ninety days should be sufficient time for the Attorney General to conduct research and issue an opinion.”

The bills can be considered when the legislative session begins in February.

“Senate Bills 1154 and 1137 come down to ensuring Oklahomans they can trust that our government and state officials are working hard to do the right thing,” Sharp said.

Contact info
Sen. Sharp at 0 239 or Sen. Sharp at (405) 521-5539 or