The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

March 14, 2013

Let the sunshine in


— It’s still officially winter, even though Daylight Savings Time began last weekend.

But despite the prospects of the grayest of the four seasons still lingering, this week is “Sunshine Week” in the United States.

According to its official website, Sunshine Week is “a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others interested in the public’s right to know.

Running through this Saturday, March 16, participants are encouraged to “join a nationwide discussion about the importance of access to public information and what it means for you and your community.”

It’s slogan is “Open government is good government.”

We agree.

The public needs to stay involved and informed in government issues, local, state and federal.

The Freedom of Information Act, has given the public the right to access information from government agencies since 1967.

Now, more than ever, the public needs to know how its tax dollars are being spent.

It’s about transparency.

Still, it seems like every day we hear about or witness public officials trying to circumvent the process.

But FOIA serves as a way to keep shining a light on issues in which the public needs to be aware.

Like a ray of sunshine.

For more information about the Freedom of Information Act or to find out how to make a FOIA request, visit www.foia.gov online.

For more information on Sunshine Week, visit www.sunshineweek.org online, and follow @SunshineWeek on Twitter.