FOI and Open Government News

NJFOG wins its OPMA case against the Trenton Board of Education

30 June, 2015 - The New Jersey Foundation for Open Government (NJFOG) filed a lawsuit (Docket No. MER-L-11-15) against the Trenton Board of Education earlier this year.  Continue>>>

Cracking the Code: U.S. House of Representatives Allows Use Of Open Source Software

30 June, 2015 - As the executive branch of the United States government quietly works on creating an official open source policy, the legislative branch is also moving into the 21st century: Open source software is now officially permitted in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Continue>>>

PRA Government Services Launches EZTransparency(TM) to Support White House Open Government Initiative

30 June, 2015 - (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PRA Government Services, a division of PRA Group (Nasdaq:PRAA), has launched EZTransparency™, a user-friendly, interactive tool to help council members, municipal staff and the public quickly visualize and understand complex city and county budgets.  Continue>>>

MSNBC’s O’Donnell: Hillary’s Private Server Was ‘An Absolutely Unacceptable Choice From The Start’ [VIDEO]

30 June, 2015 - MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell continued to castigate Hillary Clinton’s State Department email practices Tuesday, calling her decision “an absolutely unacceptable choice from the start.” Continue>>>

Michigan: Proposed $77,718 bill for Freedom of Information request has Goodrich parents fuming

30 June, 2015 - A Goodrich family is fuming over a huge  charge the school district proposes for an electronic records search on their son.  Continue>>>

Connecticut:  60 years fighting for open government

29 June, 2015 - The Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information had reason to celebrate at its annual meeting this month.  Continue>>>

Washington DC: Bowser chastized for body cam budget threat

29 June, 2015 - On the eve of the final vote on the 2016 Budget Support Act, the D.C. Open Government Coalition, the D.C. Professional Chapter of SPJ, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the Office of Open Government... Continue>>>

Connecticut: Is State's New Transparency Law For Charter Managers Strong Enough?

29 June, 2015 - After last year's debacle involving the Hartford-based Jumoke Academy charter school operation, many legislators arrived at the Capitol this year on a mission to improve the control and regulation of charter schools.  Continue>>>

Texas: Supreme Court limits reach of open government law; GHP can keep books closed

26 June, 2015 - In a 6-3 opinion with profound reach on the state's open government laws, the Texas Supreme Court on Friday decided that Greater Houston Partnership doesn't have to open its check registers, even though it receives funds from the city of Houston.  Continue>>>

Connecticut: City Attorney, Council members fight over transparency

26 June, 2015 - If elected City Council members want information from Mayor Bill Finch’s administration, they can always do what John and Jane Q Public does — file a Freedom of Information request and get in line.  Continue>>>

NJFOG: Atlantic County Judge says public agencies can’t sue under OPRA!

25 June, 2015 - A judge in Atlantic County has just held that public agencies cannot sue records requestors for declarations that the records sought are not subject to the Open Public Records Act (OPRA).  Continue>>>

Ex-Im Official Deleted Text Messages After FOIA Request

25 June, 2015 - A top official at a controversial U.S. export finance agency deleted text messages sent within days of the 2014 midterm elections after a watchdog group filed an open records request for the messages, the agency admitted recently.  Continue>>>

Draper, backer of Six Californias, funds government transparency

25 June, 2015 - Tim Draper wants to make California county governments more transparent — and the venture capitalist said Wednesday that he will spend up to $500,000 to make it happen.  Continue>>>

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Knight FOI fund helps bring settlement in Florida Governor Lawsuit 

24 June, 2105 - The Associated Press reported this week that Florida Governor Rick Scott and his Cabinet are settling a lawsuit* filed by media organizations and others over the firing of former Florida Department of Law Enforcement chief Gerald Bailey.  Continue>>>

Chicago Tribune sues city over release of emails

24 June, 2015 - The Chicago Tribune sued the city of Chicago on Wednesday in a dispute over the news organization's public records request for emails from the office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  Continue>>>

What the Private Sector Can Teach Us About Open Government

24 June, 2015 - The buzzword of the moment among local leaders is “open government,” and chief information officers are attempting to make the hype a reality.  Continue>>>

Secret Cost Estimates Floated by D.C. Executive Branch in Renewed Fight to Keep Police Video Hidden from the Public

24 June, 2015 - Citing “budget pressure” identified at the 11th hour of the annual budget process by her Chief Financial Officer, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser Tuesday (23) in a closed-door session with D.C. Council members repeated her request that police video be exempt from public access, the same plan the Council has rejected once after public outcry.  Continue>>>

NAMA loses appeal over information requests

24 June, 2015 - The judgment was given in a dispute about the National Asset Management Agency's (NAMA) status, which arose after a journalist sought certain information in relation to the agency.  Continue>>>

Virginia: Judge dismisses FOIA case against Pittsylvania County

23 June, 2015 - A judge has dismissed a petition filed by three residents against the Pittsylania County Agricultural Development Board. However, he granted them reasonable attorney fees they had requested in the case.  Continue>>>

Feds' $3M grant to Penn raises questions about transparency

23 June, 2015 - After 19 months at the helm of the National Institute of Justice, Greg Ridgeway quit last summer to join the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. Just days before he left, NIJ gave one of his new colleagues at Penn a $3 million grant.  Continue>>>

Western Watersheds group files FOIA lawsuit against U.S. Wildlife Services

23 June, 2015 - Western Watersheds Project has filed a federal lawsuit against Wildlife Services, saying the federal agency hasn’t responded to its Freedom of Information Act requests for documents detailing its activities in killing wildlife in Idaho.  Continue>>>

New York: Cameras arise from public demand for scrutiny

22 June, 2015 - Police agencies nationwide and across Western New York are increasingly adding body cameras to their uniforms in response to public demands for more oversight of police.  Continue>>>

Privacy, government openness concerns weighed in Wyoming constitutional amendment

22 June, 2015 - Rights to personal privacy and government access soon may be added to the Wyoming Constitution.  Continue>>>

Pennsylvania: DEP plans new fracking chemical disclosure site, promises more transparency

19 June, 2015 - Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection is developing several tools to make information on natural gas drilling more accessible to the public.  Continue>>>

Michigan: Obtaining government documents is getting easier, county attorney says

19 June, 2015 - Requesting government documents through Michigan's Freedom of Information Act is getting a lot freer, James McGovern, Berrien County's attorney, told county commissioners Thursday.  Continue>>>

Virginia: FOIA group agrees to look at 'working papers' exemption

19 June, 2015 - A Virginia law that allows government officials, from the governor to mayors to college presidents, to shield a wide swath of documents from public view deserves a closer look, a small state committee reviewing Virginia's Freedom of Information Act said Thursday.  Continue>>>

Unions question proposed restrictions to D.C. teacher evaluations 

19 June, 2015 - Teachers unions are questioning the transparency and due process of a measure to permanently exempt teacher evaluations from public records requests.  Continue>>>

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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. 


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