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Gov. Brown appoints Oregon's first public records advocate

To provide dispute resolution, evaluate practices

SALEM, Ore. - Governor Kate Brown announced Friday the appointment of Ginger McCall as Oregon's first public records advocate.

The creation of the position was proposed to the Legislature by Governor Brown to provide dispute resolution for public records requestors and state agencies and to lead the Public Records Advisory Council in evaluating practices, procedures, exemptions, and fees related to public records. 

"This is another step towards the transparency and accountability Oregonians expect of state government," Brown said. "Ginger's experience representing both public record requestors and government agencies brings a vital perspective to how Oregon's government complies with public records law.

"I'm proud of the progress we've made recently to enact the most substantial public records reforms of the past 40 years, and Ginger's work with the Public Records Advisory Council will ensure Oregon's commitment to transparency continues into the future." 

McCall was recommended by the Public Records Council for the governors consideration. The public records advocate will be appointed to a four-year term and will be responsible for providing dispute resolution, establishing the new Public Records Advocate Office and chairing the Public Records Advisory Council.

As an attorney, McCall has represented both open record requesters and the government. McCall has served as an attorney advisor at the United States Department of Labor, where she reviewed and revised proposed open record regulations, worked with components of the Department of Labor to fulfill Freedom of Information Act requests, defended the Department in FOIA litigation, and commented on proposed FOIA legislation.

Previously, she was the associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a public interest research center, where she directed the EPIC's Open Government Program. She managed EPIC's FOIA litigation and worked on a variety of related issues, including consumer privacy protection, international privacy law, and national security matters.

McCall has represented both the requester community and the government on the Freedom of Information Act Federal Advisory Committee (run by the National Archives and Records Administration), where she has twice led subcommittees in drafting recommendations for the improvement of the FOIA. McCall also served as a board member for the American Society of Access Professionals.

McCall co-taught a course on the Law of Open Government at Georgetown University Law Center. She also co-edited Litigation Under the Federal Government Laws 2010, has been published in the New York Times, and has co-authored several friend-of-the-court briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

McCall graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh and obtained her law degree from Cornell Law School.


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