The Arkansas Freedom of Information Handbook
The Arkansas Freedom of Information Handbook

THE ARKANSAS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION HANDBOOK is a valuable tool for those citizens of Arkansas desiring to learn more about the valuable piece of legislation passed in 1967, during the governorship of Winthrop Rockefeller.  The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, referred to as the “Sunshine Law” as well as the “People’s Law”--and coded as Arkansas Code Annotated 25-19-101 through 25-19-110--is designed to encourage openness and transparency in all governmental and nonprofit activities where taxpayer dollars are expended.

The primary aim of THE ARKANSAS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION HANDBOOK is to “communicate the importance of open government to people across Arkansas.”  The HANDBOOK also serves as a practical, easy to read publication and contains the important State statute as well as applicable information designed to enhance citizen interest and readability.

Copies of the HANDBOOK are free and may be obtained from the Arkansas Governor’s Office, the office of Arkansas Attorney General, the Arkansas Press Association, The Society of Professional Journalists, the Arkansas Broadcasters Association, the Associated Press Managing Editors and the Arkansas Press Broadcasters Association.  It may also be downloaded here.

The format of the HANDBOOK allows citizens to read about the legislative intent at the time the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act was adopted and the purpose of that important legislative action to all citizens of Arkansas.  The publication also provides a listing of definitions, the penalty for negligently violating the statute and provides citizens with a section relating to the examination and copying of public records to include those records which may not be inspected nor copied by the State’s citizenry.  The HANDBOOK also discusses open public meetings and the appeal process if a citizen is denied rights granted to him or her by the mandates of the State’s statute.

The HANDBOOK is designed to provide the State’s residents with guidance as to how to file a Freedom of Information Act request, and it contains valuable discussions of public records, public meetings and executive sessions.  The handy publication also contains a section concerning recommendations for citizens if a judge attempts to close a courtroom to the public.  The questions and answers section lists many important questions followed by carefully researched answers correlating to the intent of the law, and the section in the HANDBOOK devoted to Attorney General Opinions relating to specific questions is invaluable.

Citizens desiring to learn more about the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act of 1967, as amended, will find THE ARKANSAS FREEDOM INFORMATION HANDBOOK an indispensable publication as they search for openness and transparency within those governments and nonprofit agencies utilizing taxpayer monies.  Those aforementioned entities which make possible the distribution of the valuable HANDBOOKS to the citizens of Arkansas are to be commended for their valuable contributions to openness and transparency within the State of Arkansas.