FOI and Open Government News
17 December 2014 - The Wichita City Council can decide to increase transparency in regards to spending, or let it remain being spent in secret. Continue>>>
17 December 2014 - In response to recent emails and phone calls I have received regarding my “yes” vote on HB 3796, I would like to explain why this legislation will, in fact, increase access to public records and improve the way voluminous or large Freedom of Information Act requests are processed. Continue>>>
17 December 2014 - This week Citizens United sued the State Department in federal court over its unlawful withholding of documents relating to Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. Continue>>>
17 December 2014 - A crime fraud exception to the federal open records law does not apply to emails sought by immigration lawyers who say government lawyers repeatedly deceived the courts about the ability of removed immigrants to return to the United States once they win a second chance in immigration court, a judge has ruled. Continue>>>
17 December 2014 - Advocates for greater openness in government were frustrated after Congress failed to update the Freedom of Information Act despite bipartisan support in the House and Senate. Continue>>>
17 December 2014 - The state Supreme Court has ruled that arbitrators are not covered by the state’s Freedom of Information laws, denying the public’s right to know what evidence is presented in arbitration hearings between teacher unions and school boards. 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 >>
Held Oct. 23-24 in St. Petersburg, the annual conference showcased ideas and insights on FOI, transparency, open government and open data
Hosted at the incredible Poynter Institute for Media Studies, the FOI summit brought together state and regional affiliate members and experts in an informative series of presentations and discussions. Topics ranged from increased FOI fees, to differentiating between open government and open data, to how to govern the governors when it comes to transparency in their administrations. The annual meeting featured keynote speaker Tom Blanton, Director of the National Security Archive at George Washington University and recognized this year's State Open Government Hall of Fame Inductee John Paff of New Jersey. NFOIC wishes to thank its Platinum Sponsor Bloomberg LP and its co-hosts the Society of Professional Journalists and the Florida First Amendment Foundation. Read 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.