Access To Public Records Isn’t A Fundamental Right — But It Should Be

Tax Analysts recently requested, under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, “copies of all field audit manuals and audit training manuals.” The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration sent back a misguided response. Revenue Legal Counsel Joel DiPippa, who wrote the letter denying Tax Analysts’ request, said Arkansas law limits the inspection and copying of public records to “any citizen of the State of Arkansas.” Neither the reporter who requested the audit manuals nor Tax Analysts is an Arkansas citizen.

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