Attorney General Drummond Receives Transparency Award

Ponca City Now - March 12, 2024 6:07 am

Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond

OKLAHOMA CITY  – Attorney General Gentner Drummond has become the first ever attorney general to receive the Sunshine Award from Freedom of Information (FOI) Oklahoma. The prestigious honor is awarded each year to a public official for showing a commitment to open meetings and open records.

The award comes during Sunshine Week, which runs from March 10 to 16 this year and promotes open government and access to public information.

“Transparency in government has been a top priority of mine, and I remain committed to aggressively enforcing the Open Meetings and Open Records Acts across state government each day,” Drummond said. “I believe our citizens are best served by an open and transparent government. I am honored to receive this award and will continue working to build a culture of accountability and trust.”

FOI Oklahoma Executive Director Kurt Gwartney and the organization’s awards committee members said they appreciate Drummond’s work to help state and local officials comply with open meetings and open records as well as his commitment to fulfilling open records requests in a timely manner.

Shortly after taking office last year, Drummond added a public access counselor to his office. Former State Sen. Anthony Sykes serves in this role and helps ensure that state agencies are acting in compliance with Oklahoma’s open meetings and open records laws. Since March of 2023, the attorney general’s office has received 174 complaints about open records and meetings violations. Of those complaints, 133 have been resolved.

Drummond also cleared a backlog of 66 open records requests that dated back for years just two months after taking office. Since that time, the attorney general’s office has fulfilled 200 additional open records requests.

“Attorney General Drummond’s creation of a public access position in his office will have a long-lasting impact on public access to information in Oklahoma,” awards committee members wrote. “His dedication to open government sets an example for others to follow.”

Drummond will be recognized later this fall at FOI Oklahoma’s First Amendment Congress.

 

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