FOI and Open Government News
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>>>
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>>>
29 July, 2015 - Attorney General Brad Schimel began his first meeting on open government issues by addressing the "elephant in the room." Continue>>>
29 July, 2015 - Registration is now open for FAF's Fall Sunshine Seminars! Continue>>>
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>>>
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>>>
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>>>
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>>>
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>>>
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>>>
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>>>
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>>>
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>>>
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>>>
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>>>
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>>>
24 July, 2015 - A number of people with local ties received Illinois Courage Awards Thursday for their impact on the government transparency movement. Continue>>>
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>>>
23 July, 2015 - Iowa now allows private businesses to cloak their efforts to win state contracts in secrecy, prohibiting taxpayers from reviewing competitive bid details that for decades have been made public. Continue>>>
23 July, 2015 - The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has launched an interactive, online map charting the policies of more than 100 police departments and laws in nearly every state regarding public access to police body camera videos. Continue>>>
23 July, 2015 - A Sangamon County judge has rejected a plea from a Massachusetts company that claims that requests for the company’s contracts with more than a dozen Illinois school districts are harming business and damaging the company’s reputation. Continue>>>
Judge Orders CIA To Pay $400,000 In Legal Fees To FOIA Requester It Jerked Around For More Than A Decade
23 July, 2015 - The CIA has been fighting to keep POW/MIA records out of Roger Hall's hands for over a decade. With that FOIA battle finally over, the CIA is now fighting to keep its money out of Roger Hall's hands. Continue>>>
22 July, 2015 - The Justice Department has no current position on whether first requesters should get a priority look at the documents released before they are made available to the public under a planned “release to one, release to all” policy, according to Melanie Ann Pustay, Director of the Office of Information Policy at the Justice Department. Continue>>>
22 July, 2015 - New Hampshire's creation of a price transparency website for health care services suggests publishing payment rates can affect negotiations between insurers and providers, Modern Healthcare reports. Continue>>>
22 July, 2015 - The state attorney general will be holding a summit next week for those who are interested in learning about transparency and accountability in government. Continue>>>
21 July, 2015 - A ruling from the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records has thrown a new monkey wrench into the ongoing dispute over Right to Know requests in Centre County. Continue>>>
21 July, 2015 - The state auditor’s office is conducting an audit of the state legislature. Continue>>>
21 July, 2015 - Four powerful lawmakers are pressing the Treasury Department to explain why it has not yet ensured that some of the tools used by the Recovery Operations Center will live on after the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board ceases operations this fall. Continue>>>
21 July, 2015 - When the reporter Jason Leopold gets ready to take on the United States government, he psychs himself up by listening to the heavy metal bands Slayer and Pantera. Continue>>>
21 July, 2015 - Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority officials will once again ascend Capitol Hill to answer lawmakers’ questions about the transit system’s safety and management. Continue>>>
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FOI Summit Wrap-up and All Things Summit
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
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 >>
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>>>
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.
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>>>
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.
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.