Raimondo Defends Record On Transparency

Oct 21, 2015

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo in her office at the Statehouse.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison

Governor Gina Raimondo is defending her administration from criticism that information has become harder to obtain.

Some reporters, editors and good government groups have complained about less-than-forthcoming responses to requests for public documents and a lack of access to public officials under Raimondo's leadership.  

Raimondo on Wednesday said she's proud of her administration, pointing out that she has welcomed public scrutiny of several troubled state agencies, including the Department of Children Youth and Families and the Department of Transportation.

"In every instance I’ve opened the Kimono, I’ve invited in the press, we’ve shared the problems," Raimondo told RIPR. "I am deeply committed to transparency.” 

In defending her record, Raimondo also pointed to a new online tool for tracking the state budget and to her administration’s push to unseal documents in the lawsuit over 38 Studios, calling it "the most transparent" administration the state has seen.

"So I’m proud of what we’ve done, I think it’s the most transparent Rhode Island has ever seen," Raimondo said.

Critics would strongly disagree, and Raimondo acknowledged the frustrations of reporters, saying the administration is "always trying to do better."

"It’s a continuous improvement because people do deserve to know what’s going on," Raimondo said.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the Rhode Island Press Association and others said this week they have experienced diminished access to documents and state officials under the Raimondo administration. They met with the governor’s chief of staff on Tuesday to discuss their concerns.