Legislation aims to open government personnel records to public


The days of having government employees fade into oblivion without any mention of the misdeeds that led to their dismissal may soon be over in North Carolina if the newly proposed Government Transparency Act of 2021 becomes law.

SB 355 was filed on March 25 in the General Assembly with three Republican primary sponsors and 10 co-sponsors, including state Sen. Lisa Stone Barnes, R-Nash.

The bill has a full title of “An act to strengthen confidence in government by increasing accessibility to public personnel hiring, firing and performance records.” If passed, the bill would no longer allow government officials to hide behind “confidential personnel records” rather than informing the public of the reasons behind decisions to hire and fire government employees.

Barnes said in an interview this week that she supports greater transparency in government as demonstrated by the bill.