The Clarion-Ledger, 3/19/9

Easily found on the opening page of the Florida Department of Health Web site is a link to a 2007 executive order by the state’s governor, Charlie Crist, a Republican. The order created a new Open Government Commission.

“Open and accessible government is the key to establishing and maintaining the people’s trust and confidence in their government and its ability to effectively serve its citizens,” Crist says on the page.

The diverse commission included leaders in law enforcement, health care and First Amendment law. Its final report also on the Internet was signed in January.

Not surprisingly, because Florida has been on the cutting edge of consumer awareness, the commission called for more uniformity and ease in providing access to public records and reports kept in electronic databases.

Contrast that with Mississippi, (population 2.9 million) where even the statewide narcotics enforcement agency offers little more than a Top 10 most wanted list on its Web site.