A report reviewing the 2011 Souris River Basin flood has been completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which presented the document to the International Souris River Board at a meeting Wednesday.
But the report was not released to the public Wednesday, and no one is sure when, or if, that will happen. That's unacceptable.
According to the board's website, "Reports, including annual reports, minutes and correspondence of the Board shall, normally, remain privileged and be available only to the Commission and to members of the Board and its committees until their release has been authorized by the Commission."
In other words, the report delivered Wednesday is "privileged" until its release is authorized by the International Joint Commission, which created the ISRB. Given the scope of last year's disaster and the amount of ongoing public interest, we would have liked that authorization to have been given Wednesday. But Bob White, secretary for the ISRB, told The Minot Daily News on Thursday that the report submitted is a "work in progress" and will likely undergo revisions before being approved. And even after it's approved, White said, the report doesn't have to be released because the IJC isn't subject to state open records laws, and it isn't subject to freedom of information requests.
Which means the public may never get to see the report. That's wrong, and we hope the IJC and the board are bombarded with complaints from the public. Even if the commission doesn't have to release the report, it should.
We understand board members and IJC?officials haven't had time to digest the report and make any necessary revisions. But we see no reason why that can't be accomplished in a matter of weeks.
Therefore, we are officially requesting the report submitted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to the International Souris River Board be made available to the public no later than April 2.