TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA — The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council voted Monday to strengthen its Freedom of Information and Government Records acts and passed a resolution to initiate a dental crown program at all tribal health centers.
To ensure citizens have better access (Citizenry Access) to important information about their government, the council voted to hire an independent information officer and extend response time. To better manage requests, Freedom of Information Acts response time has been increased from 15 to 20 days, and response time for Government Records Act requests has been increased from six to 10 days.
The rules committee voted for the amendments in May. The legislative acts then moved to the full Tribal Council for consideration at the regular council meeting June 16, where both the Freedom of Information and Government Records Acts passed.
The Freedom of Information and Government Records Acts amendments also better protect sensitive personal information. Changes to the law now keep a citizen’s date of birth, social security number and other personal information confidential.
“With technological advances, cases of identity theft have increased exponentially, and there are no indications of the trend changing course,” said Tribal Council Speaker Tina Glory-Jordan. “Along with other enhancements to this essential piece of legislation, this body wanted to ensure our citizens’ sensitive information on requested documents will remain private. Cherokee citizens can rest assured this body has taken every step needed to protect their identity and assets through this law.”
The legislation now moves to the Principal Chief’s office for his signature.