FOI and Open Government News

NSA Ordered to Look Harder for Records

4 August, 2015 - A federal judge dismissed most, but not all, of the National Security Agency's requests to dismiss a reporter's FOIA request on federal surveillance of judges.  Continue>>>

Internet accessibility an important factor in government transparency

4 August, 2015 - Public affairs experts say easy and constant access by citizens to important government information, referred to as government transparency, is vital for good governance as well as the perception by citizens that the government is trustworthy.  Continue>>>

As cloud of corruption passes in D.C., regular dysfunction back in spotlight

4 August, 2015 - Outside the mayor’s conference room, the line of D.C. cabinet secretaries and agency directors stretched down the hall.  Continue>>>

Virginia Coalition for Open Government calls board's new rules "far-reaching"

3 August, 2015 - Megan Rhyne, executive director of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government, took issue on Friday with the “matters before the public” rules approved by the Board of Supervisors.  Continue>>>

Massachusetts: New State Police policy keeps drivers' names secret

3 August, 2015 - Kelly Young was driving down Route 28 when a sedan traveling in the other direction rear ended another car and veered into Young's lane, hitting his car head on, police say.  Continue>>>

Medicaid's Transparency, Specialty Access Need Fixing

3 August, 2015 - The Medicaid program would benefit from increased transparency, better beneficiary access to specialty and dental care, and automatic assistance from the federal government during economic downturns, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  Continue>>>

Why Are Veterans Denied Access To Their VocRehab Records?

31 July, 2015 - Here is the story of one Afghanistan War disabled veteran who did not back down when VA VocRehab employees unlawfully withheld his VocRehab records from him following a benefits denial.  Continue>>>

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press: Obtaining government officials’ business emails should be easier

31 July, 2015 - This spring, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton came under fire when the State Department disclosed her exclusive use of a personal email server during her time as Secretary of State.  Continue>>>

Freedom of the Press Foundation: We just sued the Justice Department

31 July, 2015 - Today we (Freedom of the Press Foundation) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department over their unpublished rules for using National Security Letters and so-called informal “exigent letters” to conduct surveillance of journalists.  Continue>>>

Baker unveils new rules for public records requests

30 July, 2015 - Governor Charlie Baker unveiled sweeping new rules Thursday for how the executive branch will handle public records requests.  Continue>>>

Plenario: Changing How We Use Open Data

30 July, 2015 - The majority of open data portals online today are confined to information from a single city government or political jurisdiction.  For researchers, policymakers, or other data portal users, this can create problems: we know that urban landscapes are complex, interconnected places that do not exist within the bounds of a single government entity.  Continue>>>

Tennessee: Sumner County open records trial begins

30 July, 2015 - The first day of testimony began on Wednesday in a trial to decide whether the Sumner County Board of Education violated the Tennessee Public Records Act by not responding to a Joelton man’s email request.  Continue>>>

Wisconsin AG Brad Schimel: 'Messing with open government laws is like touching the third rail'

29 July, 2015 - Attorney General Brad Schimel began his first meeting on open government issues by addressing the "elephant in the room."  Continue>>>

Florida: 2015 FAF Sunshine Seminars Announced!

29 July, 2015 - Registration is now open for FAF's Fall Sunshine Seminars!  Continue>>>

NC legislature passes bill limiting execution transparency

29 July, 2015 - A bill that would allow quicker changes to North Carolina's execution process and block information about the manufacturing of lethal injection drugs has passed the legislature and is going to the governor.  Continue>>>

Best Practices Workshop Series Continues this Summer

28 July, 2015 - As a part of the United States’ Second Open Government National Action Plan commitment to further modernize FOIA, in 2014 OIP launched the Best Practices Workshop series as a way to share and leverage successes in FOIA administration across the government.  Continue>>>

Follow the PA General Assembly with this open data tool

28 July, 2015 - Here's something that ought to earn the Sunlight Foundation several shots of Pappy Van Winkle: a new open data tool that makes it easier than ever to have a look at the inner workings of Pennsylvania's state legislature.  Continue>>>

GAO: DOD must improve transparency of spec ops funding

28 July, 2015 - While U.S. Special Operations Command has seen a dramatic increase in personnel and funding since the beginning of the war on terror, the Defense Department still is unable to accurately provide detailed funding numbers across the services, leaving decision makers in the dark on exactly how much money goes toward special operations, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.  Continue>>>

Massachusetts: Lawmakers back open government reforms - but not for themselves

28 July, 2015 - Reform of the decades-old public records law is getting strong support on Beacon Hill, but many lawmakers balk at lifting exemptions to open-government laws that shield much of their work from public view.  Continue>>>

New Jersey: Court to review Housing Authority's OPMA violations

27 July, 2015 - On August 21, Union County Superior Court Judge James Hely is scheduled to hear argument in a case against the Summit Housing Authority for non-compliance with New Jersey's open public meetings law.  Continue>>>

Washington DC: Coalition publishes nationwide body cam access report

27 July, 2015 - The D.C. Open Government Coalition (DCOGC) July 27 released a comprehensive look at how each state and 15 of the largest cities are addressing through legislation and policies key issues surrounding implementation of police body cameras.  Continue>>>

Virginia: Governor McAuliffe announces 2015-16 data internships

27 July, 2015 - Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia state government and the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business will again work together on data re-engineering internships to explore the use of data to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of state government.  Continue>>>

Wisconsin: AG Brad Schimel tackles open government in wake of controversy

27 July, 2015 - Attorney General Brad Schimel is starting the substantial task of updating the state’s open records law at a time when voices of outrage are still reverberating in the Capitol’s halls over a recent unsuccessful attempt by leading lawmakers to significantly diminish public scrutiny.  Continue>>>

Indiana: Student reporting project finds faults in public records access

27 July, 2015 - Three graduate students found nearly half of the Indiana county agencies surveyed failed to obey the Indiana Access to Public Records Act.  Continue>>>

Connecticut: State's New Regulations Site Aims To Increase Accessibility, Transparency

27 July, 2015 - Gov. Dannel Malloy and Secretary of the State Denise Merrill recently announced Connecticut’s website of state regulations has relaunched with a goal of increasing public accessibility and transparency in the state’s regulation process.  Continue>>>

Improved open data nets Transit App service for three cities

24 July, 2015 - Three more cities now have real-time public transportation information available to their commuters, without having to develop or maintain the mobile apps themselves. Continue>>>

Illinois: Residents recognized for impact on government transparency

24 July, 2015 - A number of people with local ties received Illinois Courage Awards Thursday for their impact on the government transparency movement.  Continue>>>

Judge Says Government Can Continue To Refuse To Acknowledge Certain Drone Strike Documents

24 July, 2015 - Documents pertaining to the accidental killing of two men by US drone strikes in Yemen can continue to remain unacknowledged by the agencies guiding the strikes.  Continue>>>

 

Read more news on government transparency, open government and freedom of information.  Want a reliable news feed on local and state government transparency, open government/data, and FOIA news and information? Subscribe to our news feed.


FOI Summit Wrap-up and All Things Summit

2014 FOI Summit from St. Petersburg

Held Oct. 23-24 at the incredible Poynter Institute for Media Studies, the annual conference showcased ideas and insights on FOI, transparency, open government and open data. Read more about the events and important discussions that occurred. Note: Make plans for the 2015 FOI Summit in Denver, October 10-11. 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 > >


Who We Are & What We Do

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 >>

NFOIC News

2015 FOI Summit Announced

Join the National Freedom of Information Coalition and the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition for the 2015 FOI Summit on Friday, October 9th, and Saturday, October 10th at The Curtis hotel in downtown Denver, Colorado. Continue>>>

Sign up for breaking news and notifications 

Occasionally, NFOIC emails notices related to state and local government transparency and FOI.  Please add your address if you'd like to be on our list.

NFOIC and SPJ to combine war chests to fight for FOI

The Society of Professional Journalists and the NFOIC are joining forces – and legal war chests –  to help citizens and journalists fight for public records. The two groups will band together to help litigants who sue for access to government information. The NFOIC can provide court fees and SPJ help for attorney fees. Both organizations also will use their combined national networks of journalists and citizens to apply public pressure to government agencies that flaunt the law. Continue>>>

Sunshine Week 2015 is a success!

NFOIC and state and regional affiliate members recognized annual event and its importance to our democracy.

NFOIC and its state and more than 40 regional affiliate members welcomed the 10th anniversary of Sunshine Week 2015. Our Sunshine Week web page along with the many events and programs offered by state and regional coalitoin members provided information and education about his important event. NFOIC joined the national effort to bring more openness and transaprency to local, state and federal governments. 

NFOIC FOI training proposal receives Knight Foundation grant

      

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...

NFOIC and Knight FOI Fund contributes to successful litigation for news media coalition 

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/MLRC Open Government Survey

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. 


Get Involved!

                                                     

 

All membership dues and donations
are tax-deductible.

NFOIC on:

Facebook Facebook & Twitter Twitter