Sheriff Sponsors Open Government Forum

Chief A. Gerald Schramek, Mr. Robert Freeman, Sheriff Donald B. Smith, Senior Investigator. Glen JacksonL to R - Chief A. Gerald Schramek, Mr. Robert Freeman, Sheriff Donald B. Smith, Senior Investigator. Glen Jackson

Forty people with occupations ranging from police officers to town clerks and municipal attorneys met at the Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services Operations Building in Carmel to attend a seminar sponsored by Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith.

The two-hour training session presented by Mr. Robert Freeman, Executive Director of the state’s Committee on Open Government, touched upon how the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) impacts governmental entities. The Committee on Open Government, a unit under the Department of State, oversees and advises government, public, and news media on Freedom of Information, Open Meetings, and Personal Privacy Protection Laws. The committee offers guidance in response to telephone, email or written inquiries. It prepares written legal advisory opinions, and provides training upon request.

Mr. Freeman, considered by many as a world-wide expert on the subject of open government, has been the Executive Director of the Committee on Open Government for the past 38 years. After graduating from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1969, Mr. Freeman received his Jurist Doctorate from New York University of Law in 1973.

“Mr. Robert Freeman truly made an outstanding presentation on the Freedom of Information Law and Open Government. Our democracy depends on keeping our citizens informed by having government at all levels provide as much information as possible to the public while protecting the sanctity of investigations,” said Sheriff Smith.

“I truly appreciate so many elected and appointed public officials attending this important presentation. I also thank Executive Director Freeman for visiting Putnam County and providing an outstanding presentation on this important topic to all in attendance,” concluded the Sheriff.