FOI and Open Government News
27 February 2015 - Vermont's new open-meeting law asks too much of small-town technology, the head of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns says. Continue>>>
Texans’ right-to-know about lethal drugs used in executions would dramatically improve under bill filed by Rep. Canales
27 February 2015 - The public’s right to know about how executions take place in Texas – including current, controversial secret information regarding the lethal drugs used to administer the death sentence – would be dramatically strengthened under legislation filed on Wednesday, February 18, by Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg. Continue>>>
27 February 2015 - The National Security Agency has repeatedly stated that leaks by former contractor Edward Snowden about its surveillance programs have compromised national security and harmed American foreign policy – but Washington remains unwilling to say how. Continue>>>
27 February 2015 - Many people are aware of the Freedom of Information Act, known by its acronym, FOIA. It’s the kind of thing that might be described as “government trade secrets, inside out.” Continue>>>
27 February 2015 - Until his death last week, it had been a while since Cass Ballenger’s name appeared in Gazette headlines. Continue>>>
27 February 2015 - The village of Oakley has again voted to release the names of reserve police officers. 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.