According to statute, my state has a public access ombudsman who is to oversee the state's freedom of access laws. (Kind of like the FOIA at the federal level.) According to statute the ombudsman:


  1. Duties. The ombudsman shall: ... D. Furnish, upon request, advisory opinions regarding the interpretation of and compliance with the State's freedom of access laws to any person or public agency or official in an expeditious manner. The ombudsman may not issue an advisory opinion concerning a specific matter with respect to which a lawsuit has been filed under Title 1, chapter 13. Advisory opinions must be publicly available after distribution to the requestor and the parties involved; [2013, c. 229, §1 (AMD).]

To date, since the first ombudsman's appointment, the ombudsman has never once furnished an official advisory opinion.


According to that article, some guy once asked for an advisory opinion and didn't get one. The spokesman for the ombudsman said the reason was because:

Timothy Feeley, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, said Simpson’s case was not the kind of case that Kielty could resolve with an advisory opinion.

“This was a situation that required an interpretation beyond the scope of the FOAA law,” said Feeley, who responded at Kielty’s request.

I have asked for advisory opinions in a number of different instances now. In every case, I have been met with silence. I once asked for an advisory opinion with respect to this question I asked on the stack exchange. I once asked for an advisory opinion with respect to a FOAA request I made directly to her that she denied (with silence) asking for all advisory opinions she has ever created, including ones to me. And now I want to ask for an advisory opinion with respect to a meeting event that went unrecorded. (Meeting records are under her chapter.) My guess is that request will go unheeded as well.

She does respond to other requests that don't have to do with "advisory opinions."

My question is, what does it take to get an advisory opinion out of her?


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .