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Government Information Quarterly

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State and local governments play an important, and growing, role in everyday lives. The exploratory study positions FOI laws as a central mechanism in providing transparency to these more proximate governments. It is premised on a FOI audit, or field experiment, of 1002 requests across 9 U.S. state laws and 334 jurisdictions. The sample represents a broad cross-section of geographic, demographic and political variables, and the study analyzes these variables predictive and correlative value in determining outcomes, timeliness and communication in FOI requests. The results suggest significance in race and political variables in FOI outcomes and processes. The study's strongest finding was the influence of geographic location, namely the central South of the United States, and its considerable effect on FOI compliance.


Accepted version. Government Information Quarterly, Vol. 38, No. 1 (January 2021): 101541. DOI. © 2021 Elsevier. Used with permission.

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