In recognition of Sunshine Week (March 12-18), Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today called on state and local government officials to renew commitments to the state's open records and government transparency laws, known as the Missouri Sunshine Law.
"Missourians have long agreed that government should operate with transparency and accountability, and that the people's business must be conducted in full view of its citizens," Galloway said. "A government that operates in the shadows does a disservice to its people, and that's what the Sunshine Law was designed to prevent."
Sunshine Week is a nationwide initiative designed to draw attention to the importance of government transparency. Last fall Galloway released a report that found just 30 percent of local governments across the state complied with the Sunshine Law. Galloway called the results "extremely disappointing" and demanded government to do better.
"The Sunshine Law is about more than allowing citizens to see how government operates. It's about inviting them to be a part of the process," Galloway said. "Sunshine Week is an important reminder that public officials at all levels of government have a shared responsibility to uphold this commitment to transparency."
Individuals with information related to potential violations of the Sunshine Law or other inappropriate activities in government may contact the State Auditor's Whistleblower Hotline by calling 800-347-8597, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by using the new online submission form at auditor.mo.gov/hotline. You may choose to remain anonymous and your identity will be protected.