Now All States Make Executive Orders Public

August 8, 2014 9:18 am

by Ed · 7 comments

1) I’m an idiot.
2) This post has been updated because of said idiocy.
3) I apologize for that and for unnecessarily maligning Governor Deal and any confusion my old post may have caused.

Up until this week, Georgia was the only state not to publish all its executive orders online.

Governor Deal’s office had, according to watchdog group the Sunlight Foundation, removed three years of executive orders from his official website. The foundation says he has issued more than 800 orders since 2013. They were all published after Wednesday’s report from the Sunlight Foundation.

The office provided no explanation for the removal of the existing orders, and there’s no information on the governor’s website about how to find executive orders. (The link to an archive of executive orders from the previous administration of Gov. Sonny Perdue, however, is still fully functional.) The only public notification of the issuing of executive orders comes from press releases from the governor’s office, but the office doesn’t announce every executive order, and press releases are by no means a substitute for the documents themselves…

Georgia ranks second in the country in number of executive orders issued in the last five years, a product of the structure of Georgia’s constitution, which requires many executive branch responsibilities to be fulfilled by executive order. Many orders are appointments to state agencies, commissions and boards — including the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, the Georgia Port Authority and Board of Natural Resources. Others concern the transfer of funds from emergency accounts and responses to natural disasters…

Deal’s predecessors published their executive orders online. Should Joe/Jane Public wish to view Gov. Deal’s executive orders, they can still do so. However, as the foundation documents, it is quite the rigmarole (that is probably not entirely accidental).

It’s worth mentioning that I do not think this shows that Gov. Deal is up to any malfeasance. He is however, guilty of poor governance. There is no reason to not put every executive order online. These are things that we as taxpayers have a right to know about and Gov. Deal has an obligation to tell us how state resources our money is being used. Even if he gets reelected in November, Deal is probably going to be dogged by ethics stories. Things like a lack of total transparency won’t help advance his narrative.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Hassinger August 8, 2014 at 9:21 am

Hey, genius, they’re back online at this link:
http://gov.georgia.gov/executive-orders/2014

Ed August 8, 2014 at 9:23 am

I’m not a smart man.

Charlie August 8, 2014 at 9:28 am

Perhaps a new headline is in order? Maybe some edits?

jecarter4 August 8, 2014 at 9:41 am

Some of the executive orders are now online.

Still missing (at least):
Exec Orders from Sept 9, 2011 -> end of the year
and Aug 21, 2012 -> end of the year
and Jan 2, 2013 -> July 1, 2013
and July 19, 2013 -> Oct 2, 2013

…but besides those, we’re good.

benevolus August 8, 2014 at 9:28 am

Good work, Ed! You single-handedly, OK well, helped, force the government to be more transparent!

Ed August 8, 2014 at 9:45 am

No one ever listens to me. Until I’m wrong.

Lwood August 8, 2014 at 10:04 am

No one listens to me until I’m wrong. I think I might emblazon that on my personal coat of arms.
Along with “hoocudanode”. Nice turn of phrase.