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I previously wrote about a bill pending in the General Assembly to strengthen the public disclosure and open meetings law in connection with city and county governments. (There was also a similar, but even stronger, bill (HB734) proposed by Guilford Rep. John Blust.)

Today I learned that Gov. Perdue recently signed executive orders 17 and 18 to bring greater transparency and accountability to state government.

Executive Order 18 declares that executive branch emails sent to and from state government accounts will be retained and archived as public records for 10 years. Executive branch employees must keep all emails they send for at least 24 hours so that those emails can be copied to back up tapes. Emails received must also be kept for 24 hours unless the email is clearly not related to state business. The order also directs ITS to develop a new email archiving system and make it available to all executive branch agencies for which it provides e-mail services as soon as practicable. Until the new archiving system is developed, ITS will continue to keep backup tapes of emails sent to and from state government accounts. The Governor has invited all parts of State government over which she does not have direct control, including the legislative and judicial branches, to participate in this program.

Executive Order 17 directs the Department of Commerce to obtain and report the names of consultants involved in economic development projects that seek benefits from the state’s incentive programs. Information on consulting relationships will be provided to the Secretary of Commerce, the Economic Investment Committee, and the Governor to better assist them in making conflict of interest assessments and will be retained as part of each project’s file.

“These executive orders further expand on two hallmarks of my administration – transparency and accountability,” said Perdue. “Only when the doors of government are open wide, and the sun truly shines in, can we be sure that our government by the people is working for the people.”


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