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California's top court says public may see government's past legal bills

17 January 2017 - The California Supreme Court recently issued a closely split ruling in a case involving whether or not the legal bills from settled suits involving government entities within the state are public information. A member of an advocacy group wonders how the decision will affect taxpayers. Continue...

Chicago: BGA, others force Emanuel to release work-related private emails

17 January 2017 - Following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) filing and lawsuits, Illinois’ Better Government Association (BGA) recently succeeded in forcing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to release private emails that pertain to city business. Continue...

MuckRock: FBI quietly decides all FOIA requests over 50 pages are “complex”

17 January 2017 - Just six months ago, [MuckRock] reported that the FBI had quietly changed their FOIA processing queues without alerting anyone or updating their website. And now, once again, the Bureau has changed their standards for FOIA processing - before a request had to be 2,500 pages or more to be classified as large or complex. Now, without any announcement or update to the Bureau’s website, the number’s down to 51 pages. Continue...

Virginian-Pilot editorial: Be a force for openness in government

13 January 2017 - Virginia’s FOIA includes more than 170 exemptions that have, over time, eroded its effectiveness as a crowbar to pry loose documents that should be public and to pry open the doors of meeting rooms that should not be closed. Read more...

Philanthropist Craig Newmark Joining the Fight Against "Fake News"

13 January 2017 - A $1 million grant from the Craig Newmark Foundation to the Poynter Institute addresses one of the thornier dilemmas arising from the recent election—how newsrooms should identify and respond to "fake news." Read more...

Puerto Rico governor pursues freedom of information law

13 January 2017 - Puerto Rico’s new governor has signed an executive order creating a new public affairs and public policy secretary position that will be responsible for drawing up proposed legislation similar to the Freedom of Information Act that has long been enforced in the U.S. mainland. Read more...

Ratings agency warns in brief against ‘dramatic expansion’ of Florida’s Sunshine Law

13 January 2017 - State regulators and an organization that proposes workers’ compensation coverage rates in Florida defended themselves in pleadings to a state appeals court this week, seeking to overturn a lower court ruling that they had violated open-government laws. .

Indiana Judge holds former Gov. Pence to open-records law

13 January 2017 - A long-running legal battle over the governor’s decision to deny a 2014 open-records request was resolved in Pence’s favor by a three-judge panel. Read more...

Transparency committee: N.Y. Senate cellphone ban violates Open Meetings Law

11 January 2017 - The question: Whether or not the state Senate’s new rule barring the use of cellphones as audio, video or photographic recording devices within the chamber and its public galleries without the permission of the Senate secretary violates the state’s Open Meeting Law. Read more...

Deleting emails debated at Minnesota State Capitol

11 January 2017 - "It seems like the only way we can discover emails is through a lawsuit and if the emails don't exist, or even if they do exist, and they say they don't have them, how do we know?" Read more...

Opinion: South Dakota Attorney General want to make mug shots public record

11 January 2017 - Mug shots currently are not considered part of the public record, so police can – and do – keep them secret. Jackley wants to change that, and we support him in that endeavor. Read more...

Oklahoma Joe: Government transparency must improve

11 January 2017 - This has everything to do with our right to know what transpires in a public setting or how our taxpayer dollars are being spent. Read more...

South Portland Police Department releases its body camera policy

11 January 2017 - The South Portland Police Department has released the document that spells out its officers should use the body cameras that they will begin wearing in a few weeks. Read more...

'Putin-like rule'? Ohio GOP lawmaker, Gov Kasich clash over health-care transparency law

9 January 2017 - Accusing Gov. John Kasich of “engaging in Putin-like rule” to overturn a state law on health-care price transparency, the law’s sponsor wants the attorney general to hire outside counsel to defend the state against an industry lawsuit. Read more...

FOIA legislation to be revisited by South Carolina lawmakers

9 January 2017 - Taylor’s bill would adjudicate FOIA disputes in Administrative Law Court and shortens a public body's response time to requests from 15 to 10 days, but gives governments more time to produce records. Read more...

San Diego Pushes for Further Transparency with New Open Records Portal

9 January 2017 - “NextRequest,” an online portal for residents to request city government documents was touted as part of a transparency push. Read more...

Troy (MI) resident seeks records after city manager scrutiny

9 January 2017 - Frustrated at being stonewalled on getting records on the activities of Troy’s city manager, a city resident has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the city. Read more...

Montana leaders often use personal email to conduct government business

9 January 2017 - Dozens of Montana legislators, the governor and several top staff members often use personal email accounts to discuss government business, a practice criticized nationwide for circumventing public disclosure and threatening security. Read more...

Public access necessary for police footage

5 January 2017 - Police body cameras would restore public trust, proponents said. They would infuse transparency into the murky, complicated human interactions in which officers daily find themselves, they promised. They would be a hard defense against police abuse, they swore. Continue...

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FOI Summit Wrap-up and All Things Summit

2016 FOI Summit from Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital and the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Freedom of Information Act served as backdrops for the 2016 FOI Summit. The National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) and co-sponsor the D.C. Open Government Coalition (DCOGC) convened the summit on Friday and Saturday, October 7-8, 2016 at the Dupont Circle Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C. Continue>>>


Knight FOI Fund

About the Knight FOI Fund

The Knight FOI Fund offers financial support in open government lawsuits, fueling and assisting the pursuit of important FOI cases. The need arose from the realization that the economic crisis and the evolution of the news media has resulted in declining levels of FOI advocacy. Continue > >


About NFOIC

We are a nonpartisan alliance of state and regional affiliates promoting collaboration, education & advocacy for open government, transparency and freedom of information. We award grants, publish FOI and FOIA news, provide transparency education and support to state and local governments, supply state sample FOIA request letters and Federal FOIA request letters. Continue >>

Your NFOIC

About Your NFOIC

The National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) protects our right to open government. Our mission is to make sure state and local governments and public institutions have laws, policies and procedures to facilitate the public’s access to their records and proceedings.

Since 1989, NFOIC has worked to ensure open, accessible and transparent government. NFOIC is a nonpartisan alliance of 46 state & regional affiliates. Our members include citizen-driven nonprofit FOI organizations, academic and First Amendment centers, journalistic societies and attorneys.

NFOIC and its coalition members advocate to remove obstacles at public institutions that block or hinder people from obtaining information that is rightfully theirs. We are keenly aware of the challenges to access information in an increasingly digital world.

NFOIC welcomes your involvement and financial support as a member or donor to help advance our mission. We encourage you to also support your NFOIC state affiliate. Opinions, comments, suggestions and questions are always welcome. Follow us on Twitter and “like” the cause of open government on Facebook. More about NFOIC...

Knight FOI Litigation Fund

Having your FOI request denied may leave no other option than pursuing legal action against the rejecting public agency or official. NFOIC offers financial support to litigate open government lawsuits through the Knight FOI Litigation Fund. Backed by a generous grant from the Knight Foundation, the fund helps to defray upfront costs such as filing fees, depositions, court costs and other expenses associated with legal actions. Applications may be submitted through your state FOI coalition or directly to NFOIC. 

2016 FOI Summit - Washington, D.C. 

The annual two-day FOI Summit convened in Washington, D.C. and featured presentations on policing transparency, open data, proactive disclosure, attorney fees, FOI litigation and advocacy campaigns. The continually growing challenge for government to manage, and for open records petitioners to obtain public information in an increasing digital age was a recurring theme throughout the summit. Learn more...

 

  File and track FOI requests at NFOIC state and regional coalition sites using FOIA Machine

The National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) and FOIA Machine (FM) have teamed to help people file and track their FOI requests online through select NFOIC state and regional member web sites. Visitors to  NFOIC coalition web sites will be able to use FOIA Machine's technology to prepare, file and track their FOI request to public agencies at the local, state, or federal levels. More...



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