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No, It’s Not a Secret, It’s Just Not Public

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A Montana water rights agency, the federal government and two Indian tribes have been negotiating for the past two years over groundwater use on the Flathead Reservation. When a real estate broker sought a draft of an interim agreement, he was told by the state it wasn’t a secret, it just wasn’t public and his freedom of information request was denied. The rationale: all parties must agree to make public any “working proposal.” The state is just one of the parties. 10/29/04)