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Posted on Friday, September 29th, 2017 at 5:44 pm    

One of the hallmarks of a democratic society is that it promotes respect for the public’s right to know about governmental affairs!

It is vital in such a society that the public’s business be transacted in an open and transparent manner.  It is the right of citizens in a free society to be advised of the qualifications and performances of public officials and the decisions made by those individuals.

Citizens also have the right to attend public meetings, ask questions of public employees and to access information about agencies which expend public funds.

The Transparency in Government Group (TIGG) of Boone County is an organized group of individuals dedicated to ensuring that maximum openness in governmental affairs is practiced by every agency which utilizes taxpayer monies and operates within Boone County, Arkansas.

To assist the general public to better understand its rights as provided by the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Transparency in Government Group (TIGG) of Boone County will sponsor a Freedom of Information Act Workshop on Thursday evening, October 12, 2017, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Room “B” of the L.E “Gene” Durand Center in Harrison.

The Durand Center is located across the street from the Hotel Seville building and just north of the Boone County Courthouse on Main Street. The Workshop is free to the public, and light refreshments and drinks will be served at no cost to participants.  A door prize will be awarded to one lucky individual, and each Workshop participant will be presented with a copy of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act Handbook, 16th edition, from the office of the Arkansas Attorney General.

Featured panelists for the Workshop will be Lt. Col. Jim Parsons, US Army Green Beret, retired, founder of the Bella Vista, Arkansas, Patriots; Mr. Joey McCutchen, noted FOIA attorney officed in Fort Smith and lead Counsel with McCutchen Napurano - The Law Firm in that City; and Mike Bishop, co-founder of the American Speaks Organization from Harrison.  Tom Larimer, executive director of the Arkansas Press Association headquartered in Little Rock, will serve as moderator for the Workshop.

Workshop participants will have opportunities to learn about the provisions of the State’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and will be taught how to request all types of public information covered by the FOIA.  Other topics to be discussed will be personnel records, open meeting requirements, executive sessions and review of the Attorney General’s Opinion process as it relates to FOIA issues.

Individuals desiring more information about this timely and important Workshop may contact Dr. Bill Ray Lewis at 870-741-1269 (h) or 870-365-6990 (c).