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Read the 2016 annual newsletter from Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana

October 21 -- PAR’s analysis, commentary, public outreach and participation on several key task force initiatives are making an important contribution toward shaping the discussion and building consensus for meaningful recommendations for positive, long-term change. Continue...

NY State: Sweeping law secretly combats zombie homes

October 21 -- A new state law that requires banks to report and secure abandoned houses has been hailed as sweeping legislation for combating blight, but the most sweeping aspect of the law may be a section that keeps the information secret. Continue...

CO: Weld County commissioners quarrel over utility company meetings, document release

October 21 -- After one county commissioner released confidential records to protest county meetings with utility companies, the rest of the commissioners are left scratching their heads. Commissioner Sean Conway recently released emails, which detailed the county’s attorney giving the board legal advice before a planned September meeting with Xcel Energy, alleging the meeting was a kind of unethically private correspondence called ex parte communication. The emails went public this week when a conservative blog published them. Continue...

VT: Health reform, public records law converge in lawsuit

October 20 -- A lawsuit argued in Montpelier on Tuesday will decide whether a key part of Vermont’s health care reform efforts is subject to the state’s public records law. Continue...

Delaware public records gold mine: new open data portal

October 20 -- State officials say that an online clearinghouse of raw statistics and other nonpersonal information collected by state agencies will be searchable, sortable and, in some cases, mappable come Wednesday evening when Gov. Jack Markell unveils Delaware's new open data portal. Continue...

OpEd: The Sun shines on all in Missouri, but not always equally

October 20 -- The 19-page report from State Auditor Nicole Galloway on the audit of the House of Representatives and the 17-page report on the audit of the Senate detail areas with Sunshine Law deficiencies.  Continue...

Meet the U.S. Data Federation: A new hub for standardized, coordinated open data

October 19 -- This new effort, the recently announced U.S. Data Federation, is a step forward in the open data movement toward not just publishing data on but also coordinating it among specific topics to be interoperable and standardized, experts say.  Continue...

From Connecticut Council for Freedom of Information: Facing Hearing, Ethics Board Chair Admits FOI Violations

October 19 -- After a protracted mediation process and with the clock winding down to a Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission hearing, Newtown Board of Ethics Chair Jacqueline Villa admitted to violating the state FOI Act on two separate occasions, both involving illegal executive sessions — meetings with members of her board closed to press and citizens that should have been conducted in public. Continue...

FOI Foundation Texas offers Nov. 16 Open Government Seminar in Denton

October 19 -- The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas will host an Open Government Seminar in Denton in November featuring training in public meetings and public records laws. Continue...

CA: Judge jails judicial reform advocate who discussed divorce online

October 18 -- In a decision First Amendment experts have dubbed “outrageous,” a Contra Costa Superior Court judge jailed a San Ramon man for writing about his divorce on the internet — even though his writings were based on material publicly available in court files. Continue...

Anchorage Police Department participating in national police data initiative

October 18 -- The Anchorage Police Department is joining 100 other police departments around the country to provide more data and information to their respective communities. APD announced Friday it’s participating in the White House Police Data Initiative. Continue...

Half of U.S. Cabinet agencies fail to comply with Open Government Directive

October 18 -- 2,473 days after President Barack Obama issued an Open Government Directive, half of the 15 Cabinet agencies of the United States have not complied with the most basic aspect of the executive order: publishing an open government plan on their open website. Continue...

Social media feud leads to public records fight in Miami Beach

October 17 -- In a complaint filed last week, Stern says the mayor, Philip Levine, “employs … digital mediums including social media to communicate official business,” noting that the Twitter and Facebook accounts at issue identify him as mayor and are used for constituent engagement and informing city residents of important events (e.g., the Zika outbreak in Miami Beach). These accounts are separate from Levine’s personal and campaign ones. Continue...

OpEd: Transparency still lacking in Md. government

October 17 -- The Open Meetings Compliance Board (OMCB) was refreshed with new board members in 2015 and issues non-binding advisory opinions. Members of the newly-created Public Information Act Compliance Board (PIACB) were appointed in Spring 2016. Continue...

12 new Missouri laws went into effect on Friday

October 17 -- One law protects information of farmers who voluntarily share information with state agencies. Specifically, it exempts data collected by any state agency under the Animal Disease Traceability Program. Continue...

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FOI Summit Wrap-up and All Things Summit

2015 FOI Summit from Denver

NFOIC and co-sponsor Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition convened the 2015 FOI Summit on Friday, October 9th, and Saturday, October 10th in downtown Denver, Colorado. The FOI Summit features ideas, experiences and discussions about the latest issues and trends around freedom of information laws, policies and practices at the state and local levels across the nation. 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 > >


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 >>


The 2016 FOI Summit - Washington, D.C. October 7-8

The annual two-day FOI Summit convened in Washington, D.C. and featured presentations on policing transparency, open data, proactive disclosure, attorney fees, FOI litigation and advocacy campaigns. The continually growing challenge for government to manage, and for open records petitioners to obtain public information in an increasing digital age was a recurring theme throughout the summit. Learn more...

About Your NFOIC

The National Freedom of Information Coalition protects the right to open government. We are a national, nonpartisan nonprofit 501(c)3 organization consisting of more than 40 state and regional affiliates, with a membership representing journalists and news media organizations, attorneys and law firms, educators, watchdog groups and individuals.

Our mission is to ensure openness, accessibility and transparency in government and public institutions.  Our primary focus is at the state and local levels.

NFOIC exercises advocacy, education and resolve. We are keenly aware of the challenges to access information in an increasingly digital world.

We strive to bridge the gap between the public and the written, verbal and increasingly digital information held by public officials that citizens are entitled to in our democracy.  NFOIC works as an intermediary to resolve conflicts between the public and their public institutions through collaboration and understanding of the challenges that create them and the solutions to resolve them.

We welcome your involvement and financial support as a member or donor to help advance our mission. We encourage you to also support your NFOIC state affiliate. Opinions, comments, suggestions and questions are always welcome. Please follow us on Twitter and “like” the cause of open government on Facebook. Read more about NFOIC...

  File and track FOI requests at NFOIC state and regional coalition sites using FOIA Machine

The National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) and FOIA Machine (FM) have teamed to help people file and track their FOI requests online through select NFOIC state and regional member web sites. Visitors to  NFOIC coalition web sites will be able to use FOIA Machine's technology to prepare, file and track their FOI request to public agencies at the local, state, or federal levels. More...

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