Members of Governor Gina Raimondo’s staff are set to meet with representatives of five open government groups Tuesday afternoon at the State House to discuss recent criticism about a lack of government transparency.
Raimondo’s chief of staff, Stephen Neuman, is slated to lead the 4:30 pm meeting, according to spokeswoman Marie Aberger. The governor's legal counsel, Claire Richards, and communications director, Joy Fox, and/or Aberger are also expected to attend the meeting in Neuman's office.
The gathering comes after the five open government groups criticized what they called a "disturbingly inadequate pattern" of responses to requests for government records.
Raimondo’s administration has rejected requests for records about the governor’s toll proposal, the hiring for a state job of former rep. Donald Lally, and an almost $400 million health benefits computer system.
The five open government groups -- ACCESS/RI, the RI ACLU, the RI Press Association, the New England First Amendment Coalition, and the RI chapter of the League of Women Voters -- call these denials "cause for great concern."
"On numerous occasions, you have expressed the strong need to promote transparency and accountability, but these recent incidents call that pledge into question," the groups said in their October 6 letter to Raimondo.
The open government groups want Raimondo to call on state agencies to adopt a presumption of disclosing requests for public information. The governor’s office says it hopes to find more common ground with the open government groups.
Aberger responded to the letter by saying the administration takes transparency seriously, and will try to do better in addressing the groups' concerns.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed one of the groups that signed on to the letter to Governor Raimondo.