About

The Open Government Unit investigates complaints against public bodies in Rhode Island for violations of the Open Meetings Act (OMA) and/or the Access to Public Records Act (APRA). In addition, the Open Government Unit trains and certifies public bodies on the OMA and APRA.

APRA Requests

If you wish to make an Access to Public Records Act (APRA) request for documents maintained by the Office of Attorney General, view a copy of our APRA policy and APRA request form.

Requests for records maintained by other state or local governmental entities should be sent directly to those entities.

File a Complaint

If you believe your rights under either the APRA or OMA were violated, we encourage you to file a complaint with this Department. You should send your complaint, and any supporting materials to:

Lisa Pinsonneault, Special Assistant Attorney General
Rhode Island Office of Attorney General
150 South Main Street
Providence, RI 02903
Email

Training/Certification

By law, every public body must have at least one designated individual who is trained and certified to handle all APRA requests for that public body. That person(s) is assigned to this role by the Chief Administrative Officer of a public body.

The Office of Attorney General is authorized by statute to conduct trainings. The Office of Attorney General offers various training programs each calendar year, open to all citizens. In addition, public bodies may request a training session be scheduled for a specific public body or municipality. In order to maximum resources and promote open government, we ask that the presentations/trainings be made available to all city/town departments and all agency departments.

In addition, the training requirement may by satisfied by attending a training session in person or by viewing a recent video of a presentation given by the Office of Attorney General. Any person who is assigned to accept and process APRA requests must certify to the Chief Administrative Officer that he or she viewed the entire APRA presentation or attended one a live training program. That signed certification must be sent to the Office of the Attorney General at:

Download a certification form.
Completed certification forms can be emailed to agsummit@riag.ri.gov

Or mail to:
Office of Attorney General
Attn: Open Government Unit
150 South Main Street
Providence, RI 02903

Certification for the following calendar year must be completed and submitted to the Office of Attorney General by December 31 of the current year. If an individual has become authorized to coordinate APRA requests during the calendar year, he/she must complete the training and return proof of certification to the Office of Attorney General within one month of the designation. For complete rules and regulations regarding training under the Access to Public Records Act, click here.

Online Training
Download training materials:

To view the online open government presentation, click here (streaming provided by ClerkBase).
If you are unable to view the video, please contact communications@riag.ri.gov.

 

Don't forget to submit your certification form.

Recent Findings

06/20/2017 16:15 EDT
There was no evidence that the DOC unreasonably conducted its search and retrieval, which consisted of two hours, the first hour being free. Because the Complainant did not tender pre-payment, as a matter of law, the DOC could not have denied access. R.I. Gen. Laws 38-2-7(b). The DOC did deny...
06/20/2017 16:15 EDT
Complainant alleged that the CCRI violated the APRA when it failed to produce documents responsive to his request. We have previously stated that the APRA governs the public's right to access public documents, but does not mandate or require that public bodies answer questions. See Gagnon v. City...
06/20/2017 16:15 EDT
It was undisputed that we had previously investigated, addressed, and resolved Complainant's prior allegations regarding his January 15, 2016 APRA request in Greenbaum v. Providence Police Department, PR 17-24. Complainant now sought to raise a new allegation of violation regarding the same APRA...
06/20/2017 16:15 EDT
The Town of Foster ("Town") did not violate the OMA because, based upon the evidence presented, there was no evidence that a quorum of the Town Council members met outside the purview of a properly noticed meeting and discussed matters over which the Town Council had supervision, control,...

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