Public Records Reform

Our state public records law is broken, and the ACLU of Massachusetts is advocating for an update. Journalists, concerned citizens, and others with a need – and right – to know how our government is working often can’t get information that is supposed to be public. Executive branch and municipal records are supposed to be public unless specifically exempt, but they have become functionally inaccessible due to excessive cost, technological barriers, and administrative obstruction or delay.

The law hasn’t been substantially updated since 1973. It’s time to bring our public records law into the 21st century.



Technology, the key to transparency in government
South Coast Today


Reinforce public's right to know
Boston Herald


In Mass., public records can be hard to get
Boston Globe


What does Sunshine Week and open government mean to you? A lot!
Lowell Sun


Governments need to open up and let the sun shine in
The Patriot Ledger

A ray of hope for the public records law
The Enterprise


Mass. Receives C Grade In Political Corruption Study

Media and Public Interest Orgs Issue State Integrity Report for Massachusetts


Officials just say no to records requests
Enterprise News


Transparency in Wellesley still costs big bucks
Wicked Local Wellesley


Police Department Hopes to Move Daily Log Online
Hopkinton Patch


Legislative effort aims to improve transparency
Cape Cod Times

OPINION: Secretive ways a source of embarrassment for state
Enterprise News

Policing the logs: Public Records Law violations shown

Closing the books: Many police not heeding log rules


Sunshine For All
Vineyard Gazette


Editorial: Massachusetts public records law needs a major overhaul
Springfield Republican


A buck a page? For info your taxes already paid for?


In a rare move, 20 Massachusetts newspapers published a joint editorial on the need for reform of the state's public records laws.


Why Massachusetts Must Fix its Public Records Law


Fact Sheet (PDF) | Attorney's Fees Fact Sheet (PDF) | Testimony (PDF)


The Worcester City Council unanimously passed an ACLU-backed resolution in favor of updating our state laws to improve transparency, “including measures to minimize the costs of accessing public records and improve the use of information technology to make government information publicly accessible.”

Read more about Public Records Reform and related topics:

Government Transparency

Public Records Reform