The first-ever audit of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) by State Auditor Mike Harmon was the subject of today’s meeting of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Justice and the Judiciary in Frankfort.
Harmon’s audit raises issues identified in “Shining the Light On Kentucky’s Sunshine Laws: A Proposal for Legislative Revision,” a 2017 report by the Bluegrass Institute Center for Open Government. The report recommends that records of the judicial branch unrelated to its deliberative function and other core functions, be accessible to the public and that enforcement mechanisms be established to ensure accountability.
In response to embarrassing revelations of self-dealing and other questionable practices within AOC, the Court belatedly requested an audit and adopted policies aimed at greater openness.
In this op-ed published shortly after Harmon’s audit was released, former assistant attorney general and open records expert, Amye Bensenhaver, examined the court’s failure to “heed its own words.”
Read Bensenhaver’s op-ed here.