TOPEKA — Gov. Jeff Colyer signed executive orders designed to promote executive branch transparency Thursday that eliminate fees for documents sought under the Kansas Open Records Act and require employees in the governor’s office to use official email accounts to perform state business.
Colyer, who last week replaced Gov. Sam Brownback, followed through on a promise made Wednesday in a speech to the House and Senate that he would endorse an order mandating each Cabinet agency publicly disclose statistics relevant to critical functions of each agency.
He also signed an order establishing a centralized website to track public meetings and minutes of executive branch agencies, boards and commissions.
“These executive orders are a great first step towards increasing transparency and renewing public confidence in their government,” said Colyer, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor in August. “Transparency is the key to better accountability.”
Members of the Kansas Press Association, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters and the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government attended the news conference with Colyer at the Capitol.
Doug Anstaett, executive director of the state press association, said the three organizations welcomed the new governor’s attention to transparent government.
“We believe when the state’s chief executive steps up and brings attention to governmental access issues our organizations work on every day, it elevates the discussion to a new level,” Anstaett said. “We trust this new emphasis on transparency by the governor and state legislators becomes the norm in Kansas.”