Many government documents are designated “public” but are not easily available to the public. MassINC, publisher of CommonWealth magazine, has launched an initiative, Full Disclosure, to publish on its Web site a variety of state and local government records in order to make it easier for the public to see them.

The first set of documents it is publishing are the statements of financial interest filed by various state and county officials. These are forms by which officials are required to disclose outside financial interests such as outside income, business ownership, property ownership and investments.

MassINC has posted more than 250 of these for members of the state legislature, constitutional officers, cabinet members, Supreme Judicial Court justices, county sheriffs, district attorneys, registers of deeds, various appointed officials, and members of the Governor’s Council.

For now, the only way to access these is to download this spreadsheet and click on the link for the name of each official, which opens a PDF of the financial statement. MassINC says it will be launching a searchable database for these documents in the coming months and also adding many more documents.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.