Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost recently released the 2023 edition of the Sunshine Laws Manual, a one-stop resource for information on Ohio’s Public Records and Open Meetings Acts.
The release of the manual, commonly known as the “Yellow Book,” which coincided with Sunshine Week, a national initiative promoting government transparency and access to freedom of information resources.
“People deserve to know what their government is doing, and those in government need to build trust with those we serve,” Yost said. “Transparency is vital to building that trust.”
Attorney General Yost is a staunch advocate of government transparency. As just one example, his office website publishes the complete investigative files for fatal officer-involved critical incidents. These are posted after an investigation is complete and a prosecutor or grand jury has decided not to issue an indictment in the case, or after an indictment is issued and the case has been adjudicated.
The Yellow Book reflects the past year’s law changes and legal decisions affecting Ohio’s open-government laws. The attorney general’s Public Records Unit updates the manual annually to help Ohioans understand their rights and to help public servants understand their obligations under the laws.
Besides the Yellow Book, the Public Records Unit also offers free Sunshine Laws training at dozens of locations throughout the state. Registration is open for various training sessions.
Public officials or their designees are required to complete training on Ohio’s Public Records Act at least once per elected term.
In addition, the Public Records Unit created a model public-records request policy for local governments to use as a guide when creating their own policies.
Sunshine Week has been around only since 2005, but government openness dates back to the Founding Fathers. The week always coincides with James Madison’s birthday, March 16 — also known as Freedom of Information Day.
Additional examples of Yost’s commitment to transparency were highlighted on his Facebook and Twitter accounts during Sunshine Week.
About the Office of the Ohio Attorney General
Led by the state’s chief law officer, the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has played a vital role in shaping Ohio’s past and present. Since his inauguration in January 2019, current Attorney General Dave Yost and his staff have been working to help chart a strong future for Ohioans by fighting injustice, righting wrongs, and otherwise protecting the state and its families.
With roughly 1,500 employees based at two primary locations in central Ohio and eight other sites throughout the state, the AGO serves and protects Ohioans in myriad ways. Each year, the office staff interacts with tens of thousands of fellow Ohio residents.
The Attorney General’s Office consists of more than 30 sections and special divisions, each with distinct duties. The team works hard to fight crime and help victims heal, to support law enforcement and consumers, to safeguard those in need, and much more.
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