Open Government

I would like to welcome you to the Open Government section of the Attorney General's website. The Attorney General's Office works to ensure that South Dakota government is open and accessible to all citizens.

Listed below are the main categories of information included in this section

Open Meetings Commission:Established in July of 2004, this commission is comprised of 5 states attorneys who are appointed by the Attorney General. The commission reviews complaints of open meetings violations.  The Commissions’ decisions, minutes, and case status is included here.

Open Government Task Force: Created by Attorney General Larry Long in 2001, this task force was established to study open meetings and public records issues. The group is comprised of persons representing state and local governmental entities, the media, and the business community.

Publications: These publications are designed to educate and increase the public's access to their government. They also provide the information they need to enforce their rights to participate in open government and provide valuable information about state laws regarding public records and open meetings.

  • Attorney General's Report: Status of Open Government in South Dakota
  • Conducting the Public's Business in Public (brochure on Open Meetings)

Public Records: As of July 1, 2008, disputes regarding public records are subject to an administrative procedure and decisions are issued by the Office of Hearing Examiner, a separate agency in state government.

  • Forms and instructions for filing records requests with government entities.
  • Decisions of the Office of Hearing Examiner

In addition, the legislature enacted a new public records law (SB 147)which is effective on July 1, 2009. The legislation may be found in the legislatures' website. Click on http://legis.state.sd.us/index.aspx . Find the bill in "Current Legislative Session." Starting July 1, 2009 this legislation may also be found in the "Codified Laws" section at chapter 1-27.

I hope that you find this information helpful and if you have any questions regarding Open Government please call us at 605-773-3215 or send an email to atghelp@state.sd.us. It is essential that we continue to devote time and resources to keeping government open and accessible to all South Dakotans.