FOI and Open Government News
16 September 2014 - A Philadelphia-based law firm says that the National Transportation Safety Board's current method of releasing plane crash data and information unfairly favors airplane and component manufacturers at the expense of victims and their families. Continue>>>
16 September 2014 - A recent Illinois appellate court decision should remind government entities that charging a fee for a FOIA request should not be assessed without due care. Continue>>>
16 September 2014 - After sifting through the 123 pages provided to me by the Evansville (IN) Department of Metropolitan Development (DMD) in response to a Freedom of Information Request concerning grants and loans in the Haynieís Corner and downtown areas, I must admit that I am mystified. There were apparently no grants of any kind given in the target areas between 1999 and 2004, as none are shown in that time period. Continue>>>
16 September 2014 - The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU) has issued a plea to the US government to open records about the drugs used in executions in the state of Pennsylvania. Continue>>>
16 September 2014 - When Gov. Mike Pence unveiled his new $9 million government management system, he ran down a list of ways it would make state government work better before ending with the promise that state government will also be more "transparent'. Continue>>>
16 September 2014 - A consumer rights advocacy group has lost a Freedom of Information Act fight to access the compliance records Pfizer Inc. and Purdue Pharma LP filed with the government as part of their settlement of health care fraud cases. 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 >>
SAVE THE DATE: Oct. 23-24
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. An early bird registration fee of $100 is available now until September 23rd ($125 after). Information on previous annual FOI summits can be viewed here. Learn more...
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.