Letter to the editor

I agree with your editorial's premise that the government's business is also the public's business — but only the finished product ["Crossed wires," Federal Computer Week, Feb. 5, 2001].

If every half-baked idea or bit of written data were exposed to the public, then the public would really wonder what was going on in the halls of government.

The fact is, brainstorming sessions produce just that — half-baked ideas. But those marginally sane ideas help other people think of much better ideas that become incorporated into the social fabric of this country.

I believe that the Freedom of Information Act and other public knowledge acts need to specify "finished products," such as official letters and official memos, not whiteboard notes of doodles or even an unofficial e-mail message.

David Wilkins

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