FOI and Open Government News
29 October 2014 - The federal government's disability fund is set to run a $75 billion cash-flow deficit this year, and the program's own judges are reportedly responsible for running it into the ground. Continue>>>
29 October 2014 - Forty years ago, the New York State Legislature adopted the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and declared the government needed to be 'responsive and responsible to the public,' but most of all that 'the government is the public's business.' Continue>>>
29 October 2014 - Last year, Ron Nixon discovered a small-business owner whose mail was being monitored by the United States Postal Service. Continue>>>
29 October 2014 - Wen legislation passes the Maryland General Assembly unanimously, it usually means that it doesn't do much aside from make lawmakers look good. Continue>>>
29 October 2014 - The Port of Tacoma could pay up to $50,000 to defend its commission members against a lawsuit alleging they violated the state's Open Meetings Act by holding confidential meetings with the Port of Seattle commissioners over a planned operations alliance. Continue>>>
29 October 2014 - In September, the White House announced a series of new initiatives as part of its second Open Government National Action Plan. Among them was a commitment to developing and implementing a governmentwide open-source software policy by the end of 2015. 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 >>
Oct. 23-24 in St. Petersburg, FL - Register Now
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. Registration is $125. Information on previous annual FOI summits can be viewed here. Learn 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.