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Originally published Monday, December 7, 2009 at 5:00 AM

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Sen: Gov't shouldn't have closed openness workshop

A Republican senator who sponsored a law meant to help people with open-records requests says a government workshop on openness shouldn't have been closed to the public.

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON —

A Republican senator who sponsored a law meant to help people with open-records requests says a government workshop on openness shouldn't have been closed to the public.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn says it "sends the wrong message" to have excluded interested people from the Freedom of Information Act training for federal employees.

The Monday workshop was organized by the Justice Department's Office of Information Policy for agency FOIA public liaisons. It was held in part to introduce them to the new U.S. Office of Government Information Services, set up under the Cornyn legislation to resolve FOIA disputes.

A Justice official said the training was closed because it was in a government building and to allow employees to speak freely. An Associated Press reporter was turned away.

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