Q-and-A with Mississippi Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant

Part of a series, Mississippi: The Secret State.

HATTIESBURG – Here’s a quick interview with Mississippi Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican, about openness in government:

Q: What does transparency in government mean to you?

A: “As the former state auditor, I have always believed that the more transparent a government entity is, the more accountable it is to the taxpayers.

“In my first week of office as lieutenant governor, I proposed Webcasting of the Senate proceedings so taxpayers could see their government in action and hold their elected officials accountable.

“The Senate unanimously approved this innovative, open-government measure. That same year we also passed the most comprehensive ethics reform in nearly 25 years, which among other things, requires all elected officials to file their ethics reports online. I will continue to work with legislative leaders for a more open and accountable state government.”

Q: When should access be limited or denied?

A: “As in any business, there are times and occasions when information should not be released. In those cases of employment or economic development, information should be on a limited basis. Mississippi has made great strides in its economic development sector, and I would take great caution in providing any proprietary secrets.”