We are the Sunshine Center of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition. If you are a records or meetings holder or someone seeking access to records or meetings, we hope this site will be a useful resource. Check out our educational resources about open government.
The North Carolina Open Government Coalition unites organizations interested in ensuring and enhancing the public's access to government activity, records and meetings. The nonpartisan coalition will educate people about their rights and support their efforts to gain access, and advocate the principles and benefits of open government. Education is critically important these days because, according to Elon Poll results, a majority of North Carolina residents are unaware of sunshine laws.
Nearly two out of three respondents in the latest Elon University Poll are unaware that North Carolina laws exist to make many state government records open to inspection by residents.
An Elon University Poll shows that only 30.5 percent of respondents were aware that the state has laws making government records and meetings public. A significant number (41.4 percent) also view the state as being less transparent now than it was five years ago. The poll also asked about how much public records should cost and whether certain records should be public.
From the News & Observer (11/27/2013): The Civitas Insitute requested six weeks worth of e-mails and phone records from University of North Carolina School of Law Professor Gene Nichol after Nichol published an op-ed column critical of Gov. Pat McCrory. Thirty faculty members from the law school then signed a letter published in the Chapel Hill News complaining that "surveilling a professor’s communications is a really troubling approach to protecting liberty."
From the Associated Press (11/26/2013): Gov. Pat McCrory's administration has interpreted state law to allow a "special service charge" for any record request that takes more than 30 minutes to fulfill. The charges are unprecedented.
From the Charlotte Observer (11/13/2013): The town of Indian Trail is considering a revamp of its records policy that would require seekers to pay deposits and hourly fees up to $43 an hour.
From The Wilson Times (11/11/2013): The N.C. Department of Justice and Office of the State Chief Information Officer will review complaints about the town charging more than $20 an hour for records requests that take more than 30 minutes to fulfill.
Daily Yonder (10/22/2013): The airport authority, which changed names a few times over the years, never kept records of its meetings.
From the Wilson Times (10/18/2013): The town of Middlesex adopted a policy
in January charging up to $26 an hour for public records requests to be fulfilled. The paper says Attorney General Roy Cooper said he has "real concerns" about the fees and that the Department of Justice would investigate.