Indiana is among 38 states judged in a new report to be failing in responsiveness to requests for access to public records.

Thirty-eight states, including Indiana, get failing grades in responding to requests for access to public information, according to a report by the Better Government Association (BGA) and the National Freedom of Information Coalition.

BGA and NFOIC have united to review the recourse afforded citizens in the public records laws of all 50 states, and the conclusions make for some relentlessly depressing reading.

Among the key findings: citizens often have their requests denied and the only way they can gain access to records is by appealing the agency’s denial (and then, often the only recourse is a lawsuit).

The two organizations conclude that state FOI laws are in desperate need of reform.

The overview, along with criteria and state-by-state results, are online at NFOIC’s Web site.