Local governments certainly have various practices in dealing with public information requests, particularly by media sources. Often these are aimed at meeting the state statutes, or at least a particular interpretation of relevant laws. The jurisdiction I currently work for goes as far as allowing reporters access to email messages.
This practice certainly impacts the way staff performs its work. It is generally not our intent to hide away information from the public, however planning does involves some element of strategy and when communications about particular projects are leaked to the press our position can be weakened. Given that email has become the preferred- sometimes exclusive- communication method at our workplace I feel like allowing wide-open access to it is akin to wire-tapping our cubicles. I may be able to understand allowing access to email through a formal request for particular information but I find the current policy of allowing unfettered access to our server and browsing functions to be disturbing. Am I wrong in this assessment? How is this issue handled in your workplace? thanks