Tom Wolf Will Post His Work Calendar Online
Gov. Wolf’s schedule of private meetings with lobbyists, elected officials and others may soon be available for anyone with access to the Internet to see.
Wolf announced Wednesday that he is going to start posting his full work calendar online starting next week. (Each week, he will release the previous week’s calendar.) He will also post his public appearances online a day in advance.
This is a potentially huge deal.
“To give Pennsylvania a government that works, it’s imperative that we work towards restoring the public’s trust in government,” says Wolf in a statement. “By taking this step towards openness and transparency, I have shown that I am dedicated to being accountable to the people of this commonwealth.”
In the past, public officials throughout Pennsylvania haven’t exactly been upfront about their itineraries. In fact, even after the state’s Office of Open Records has ruled that some officials’ work calendars are public records, journalists have had to go to court to try to obtain them.
Whether Wolf is truly taking a bold step won’t be known until he releases the first data set. He could redact a lot of useful information — or he could provide enough details to make every open-record advocate in the state happy. We’ll know soon enough.
Jeffrey Sheridan, a spokesman for Wolf, says, “The information released will be equivalent to what would be obtained from a Right-to-Know request released proactively. Some private information will be redacted.”
Sheridan says such “private information” includes doctor and dentist appointments.
In his first days in office, Wolf has taken a number of actions related to government transparency. He directed his senior staff and some cabinet members last week to undergo a training on the state’s open-records law, known as the “Right-to-Know” law. He has also fired the executive director of the state’s Office of Open Records.