FOI and Open Government News Syndicate content

Tech industry lags in political transparency

Oct. 9 — While Silicon Valley firms often preach about the value of transparency, a new study finds that top tech companies are among the least open about their “dark money” political contributions. Continue...

Philly schools, City Council sign agreement to promote transparency

Oct. 9 — Philadelphia school district officials and the City Council have signed an agreement to provide lawmakers with greater fiscal oversight of the district. Continue...

Editorial: In Maryland, let in the sunshine

Oct. 9 — Maryland’s Public Information Act law changed Oct. 1, which was an important step toward restoring a presumption of openness to state government. Continue...

Text messages from Jacksonville council members deepen questions over Sunshine Law violations

Oct. 9 — Newly obtained text messages from Jacksonville City Council members suggest violations of the state's open meetings law. Continue...

How long should the city keep email?

Oct. 9 — All city governments delete emails after a certain period to properly manage the data and free server space, but the length of time a government keeps its email has become a prominent issue. Continue...

More transparency coming for referendums

Oct. 8 — San Diego council adds rigorous disclosure rules to help voters make decisions. Continue...

Seattle group sues Tacoma police over Stingray agreement

Oct. 8 — Tacoma Police Department insists the public can’t see the details of its agreement with the FBI regarding the controversial Stingray surveillance. Continue...

A New Website for the New York Senate?

Oct. 8 — The New York State Senate's redesigned website is drawing praise from open government advocates. Continue...

South Dakota high court weighing release of deputy’s disciplinary records

Oct. 8 — The state’s highest court is considering whether criminal defendants should be able to see the disciplinary records of law enforcement officers who arrested them. Continue...

Sunlight Foundation: California shines a light on political dark money

Oct. 8 — California has brought us a series of great pieces of transparency news over the past month. Continue...

Wisconsin democrats call for enshrining open records, meetings law in constitution

Oct. 7 — Democratic lawmakers are calling for a constitutional amendment to protect the state’s open records and meetings laws from future tinkering. Continue...

Florida county considers open-data resolution

Oct. 7 — More data may be coming to Miami-Dade County residents. Continue...

Legislation expected to address state Supreme Court FOIA ruling

Oct. 7 — Legislation is coming to rework Virginia's Freedom of Information Act in the wake of a state Supreme Court decision that seems to allow government officials to withhold more records from the public. Continue...

Most Idaho school districts, charters break transparency laws

Oct. 7 — Almost every school district and charter in Idaho is out of compliance with state laws created to promote transparency, a new study finds. Continue... 

Notre Dame argues private-school police aren't subject to Indiana FOI law

Oct. 7 — The University of Notre Dame again maintains its campus police department is not a public agency in its legal fight with ESPN before the Indiana Court of Appeals. Continue...

D.C. police won't release body-camera images, panelists say

Oct. 6 — The lack of access to police body camera footage in D.C. and nationwide is a concern for open government advocates. Continue...

Here's what open-source government looks like

Oct. 6 — Seamus Kraft was running on minimal sleep through the days of furious Congressional debate surrounding the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), when he had his “aha!” moment. Continue...

Texas website allows public access to details of officer-involved shootings

Oct. 6 — A new Texas website allows the public to access many of the details of every officer-involved shooting that results in injury or death. Continue...

Center for Public Integrity sues FEC for security study

Oct. 6 — For the second time in three months, the Center for Public Integrity has filed a federal lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission for refusing to release documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act. Continue...

As Minnesota cities prune email archives, watchdogs worry

Oct. 6 — Local governments around Minnesota are slimming email archives by setting strict limits on how long employees can keep messages. 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


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>>>

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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