Thursday, June 12, 2014

FOIA COUNCIL PETITION

June 12, 2014

Honorable Rory J. Respicio 
Majority Leader 
Member, FOIA Advisory Council
Suite 302
155 Hesler St. 
Hagåtña, Guam  96910                        
Ph.: (671) 472-7679/3545/6

RE: FOIA COUNCIL PETITION

Senator Respicio:

As per the FOIA Council Information posted on the Legislature's website, the FOIA Council is an ADVISORY council wherein citizen concerns about government transparency are supposed to be brought under advisement, discussed amongst the council members, and a course of action recommended. 

Senator, my FOIA/OG PETITION FORM (attached) was sent to you on 6/11/14 at 4:57PM. I received a reply* from a council member on 6/11/14 at 5:13PM. Wow! Your council had all of 16 minutes to take my petition, file it, call a meeting of the council, discuss it, and decide on a course of action. 

Senator, as the Majority Leader and Chairman of the Rules Committee in collusion with the Speaker of the Legislature, you are the persons most responsible for sequestering the session agenda and keeping the people in the dark even though you knew what the agenda was.

In response to this lack of transparency by yourself and Speaker Won Pat, I submitted an official petition to your FOIA Advisory Council. Your job as founder and member of the FOIA Advisory Council is to see to it that my concern is addressed IN THE COUNCIL, not send out some messenger 16 minutes later from your personal “cover my xxx” commission with a “get lost” letter because it is YOUR actions that are at issue!

Senator, I did not ask ask for an explanation as to why we the people were kept in the dark about your current session agenda, I petitioned your council to “fix it”! In other words, Senator:

WHEN IS IT OKAY TO LEAVE THE PEOPLE IN THE DARK ABOUT THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS? Answer: NEVER!

I don’t care about your Standing Rules. Fix them. You are NEVER to keep us in the dark unless there is some grave emergency, and these three little bills you are discussing are NO emergency. I have to admit though, it IS pretty funny:

The founder of a council dedicated to assisting citizen concerns about government transparency is unwilling to entertain a citizen’s concern about government transparency....because the founder of the council to assist citizens with concerns about government transparency is the reason for a citizen’s concern about government transparency! Thanks for the reminder of why not to vote for you, as if we all don't have one already. 





Tim Rohr
A Concerned Citizen


* Email from Jayne Flores, 6/11/14, 5:13 PM

Hafa adai Tim,

Thank you for your FOIA request. From a former reporter's point of view, it is totally understandable. I asked Sen. Respicio about it, and he explained that normally he always releases a session agenda after the Rules mtg. The speaker only needs a 2 hour notice to call session, and since she called session yesterday, they didn't have time to have a Rules meeting because of the 5 day public notice requirement, so the other way to adopt an agenda is on the floor. I have attached the agenda that was adopted today on the floor. It should be on the legislative web site by now, as I am told that as soon as it is adopted, it is posted on the web site.

Thank you again for being vigilant with respect to our legislative process.

Jayne Flores
Assistant Director
Communications & Promotions
Guam Community College
P.O. Box 23069 GMF
Barrigada, Guam 96921


cc: FOIA Council, Media, Senators, Governor’s Office, and anybody else I can think of. 

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