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

05/17/2017 14:15 EDT
The Complainant filed two (2) APRA requests with the City on the same date. With respect to the City's response to one of the APRA requests, the evidence revealed that the City timely responded indicating that it did not maintain the document responsive to that request. We failed to find any...
05/15/2017 10:30 EDT
The Town Council Town Manager Search Citizen Panel violated the OMA during its January 20, 2016 meeting when the discussions were not appropriate for executive session. Our review found no discussion concerning the job performance, character, or physical/mental health of any applicants. See R.I....
05/15/2017 10:30 EDT
There was no evidence that the Complainant sought access to minutes that allegedly were not available or not posted in accordance with R.I. Gen. Laws 42-46-7(b)(2) and (d), and based upon this evidence, this Department determined the Complainant was not aggrieved. We found no violation.
05/15/2017 10:30 EDT
The Town of Coventry did not violate the APRA when the evidence revealed that although the Complainant did not comply with the Town's APRA procedures, the Town responded in a timely manner. The Complainant's rebuttal did not challenge that her APRA request was not made consistent with the Town's...

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