- Open Government is Good Government
Jim knows that an open government is a good government. We've all seen the problems that are created when government is not honest or forthcoming with information. Vermonters should expect open and transparent decision-making from their government. In the first year of taking office as Secretary of State, Jim embarking on a "Vermont Transparency Tour" to
travel the state to help educate and train local and state government officials on the laws of the state regarding Access to Public Records and Open Meetings. He held 12 training sessions around the state.
"A change of the culture and attitude towards access to public records and open meetings is necessary for both state and local government," Condos said.
Jim believes that openness and transparency will strengthen our democracy while promoting efficiency, accountability, and effectiveness in government.
- Access to Public Records
A commitment to open government must be a commitment to transparency at all levels of government, which includes open access to public records throughout our state agencies and departments. There should not be unreasonable barriers to the public's access to public records. If government operates in secrecy, then we erode our democracy.
During the 2011-12 legislative session, Jim worked with Governor Shumlin and the Legislature to pass much needed improvements to Vermont's Access to Public Records laws -- the most significant changes since the bill's original enactment in 1976.
Jim firmly believes that all Vermonters have the right and responsibility to know what's happening in their government.
- Demanding Accountability from Public Officials
Jim believes in protecting taxpayers' money and eliminating waste and inefficiencies in government. One way to achieve these goals is to provide regular, ongoing training for elected and appointed officials. Jim believes that any person or entity receiving public money should be subject to strict accountability to ensure that the money is spent in accordance with the appropriate laws, policies and procedures. As Secretary of State, Jim has advocated for timely and thorough audits of public expenditures.
Jim understands the importance of clarity and accountability with public money.
- Strengthening Campaign Finance and Lobbyist Disclosure Laws
Jim is in the process of developing better IT services for the election office. Jim is updating the databases, providing easier, online records search for campaign donations and expenditures, candidate filings, and lobbyist donations and expenditures. Jim is developing an online system to file campaign finance and lobbyist reports.
Jim believes that the public has a right to access campaign finance and lobbyist disclosures in a timely and easily accessible manner.