FOI and Open Government News
30 October 2014 - A report commissioned by the Homeland Security Department's Science and Technology Directorate says barriers to using and developing open source software must be addressed as IT budgets across government continue to tighten. Continue>>>
30 October 2014 - In the absence of a hospice consumer guide from the government, The Washington Post has created one using available Medicare data. The newspaper unveiled the quality tool Sunday, in an article criticizing a lack of transparency around hospice quality. Continue>>>
30 October 2014 - It isn't often that insurers and hospitals come together on an issue involving payments, but that's what seems to be happening in reaction to a new study being funded by the state's Department of Financial Services. Continue>>>
30 October 2014 - Caroline County's school board members went into a closed session last week to discuss, among other matters, their own performance. It's probably not a bad idea to evaluate themselves occasionally, but they shouldn't keep it secret from county residents. Continue>>>
Sex, Lies, and The FOIA: Wotjas v. Town of Stonington and The Disclosure of Sexual Harassment Complaints, Regardless of 'Guilt.'
30 October 2014 - This author wrote previously on the status of sexual harassment investigations under the Freedom of Information Act 'FOIA'. Continue>>>
Transparency Groups Seek White House Position on FOIA Reforms
30 October 2014 - Fifty transparency organizations and watchdog groups are pressing the White House to state its position on a number of core reforms they say are needed to fix the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Continue>>>
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FOI Summit Wrap-up and All Things Summit
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 > >
Who We Are & What We Do
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 >>
Oct. 23-24 in St. Petersburg, FL - Register Now
The National Freedom of Information Coalition's annual conference and FOI summit is scheduled for October 23-24 in beautiful St. Petersburg, Florida at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. This year's Fall summit is hosted by the Florida First Amendment Foundation. The annual meeting brings together state and regional FOI coalitions and friends of open government. Tom Blanton, Director of the National Security Archive at George Washington University is the keynote speaker. Registration is $125. Information on previous annual FOI summits can be viewed here. Learn more...
October 2014 - The National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) has been awarded a Knight Prototype Fund grant to create pilot projects aimed at developing open government training modules for public officials and records custodians, particularly in states where open government training is mandated. Continue...
Using a litigation grant from the National Freedom of Information Coalition’s Knight FOI Fund, a coalition of news media companies –the Carroll County Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun and Scripps Media’s WMAR-TV—successfully challenged the Carroll County (MD) Board of Commissioners under Maryland’s Public Information Act (MPIA).
County commissioners were ordered by a judge to produce all email distribution lists that they use to send messages to select groups of their supporters. The lawsuit began after a February 2013 request to the commissioners by Carroll County Times journalist, Christian Alexandersen, for copies of the commissioners' email distribution lists. Continue>>>
NFOIC’s third biennial joint survey with the New York-based Media Law Resource Center (MLRC) showed a continuation of trends that are troubling to open government advocates. Just as similar informal surveys in 2009 and 2011 had, the 2013 Open Government Survey found a substantial decline over the last two to five years in the amount of resources devoted by media organizations to FOIA and open government issues.
FOLLOWING THE MONEY 2014 - How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data
U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s fifth annual evaluation of state transparency websites finds that states are making progress toward comprehensive, one-stop, one-click transparency and accountability for state government spending. Over the past year, new states have opened the books on public spending and several states have adopted new practices to further expand citizens’ access to critical spending information.