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Sun May 27, 2018, 08:23 PM

Government Accountability Board Keeps Most Info Under Wraps

In 2017, the Legislature created the Government Accountability Board as one of its sops to an electorate outraged by the Republican leaderships repeal of Initiated Measure 22. The Government Accountability Board, a pale substitute for IM 22’s statewide ethics commission, is required by SDCL 3-24-10 to “annually report to the people, the Governor, and the Legislature on its activities. The report shall include data regarding any allegations of violations of subdivisions of § 3-24-3, including the number of reports filed, complaints received, number of unique persons filing complaints or reports, and hearings conducted by the board. The board may not disclose information that is not subject to disclosure under chapter 1-27 or pursuant to § 3-24-4.” That latter controlling statute says, “The information, reports, or complaints and the investigative records and files of the board are confidential and not a public record according to chapter 1-27 until the board votes in favor of conducting a contested case hearing.”

So what do we get to hear from the GAB? Here’s their first annual report, approved at their January 22, 2018, meeting:

Government Accountability Board, 2017 Annual Report, approved 2018.01.22.

GAB members acknowledged at their January meeting that it’s a “bare-bones” report, but members felt they provided exactly what statute asks for and avoided “dressing up” their report as other boards do.

So far, GAB minutes show three complaints: GAB dismissed one as outside of its jurisdiction due to the alleged misconduct predating GAB’s statutory existence, delayed action on a second, and declared a third outside of its jurisdiction and referred it to DCI.

Read more: http://dakotafreepress.com/2018/05/27/government-accountability-board-keeps-most-info-under-wraps/

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