Gov. Walker issues orders to speed record request responses

MADISON — Gov. Scott Walker has issued an executive order directing state agencies to speed responses to open record requests.

Walker issued the order Friday in honor of Sunshine Week, a national effort by news organizations and other groups to promote open government that runs from March 13 to March 19.

Walker's mandates include fulfilling straightforward requests within 10 days; publicizing an email address for requests; responding to inquiries about the status of requests within five days; creating request tracking systems; and providing electronic copies whenever possible free of copying charges.

Christa Westerberg, co-vice president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, said in a news release the group views the order as good news and will watch how agencies use the new tools the order creates.