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ACLU of Oklahoma files open records request following OKCPS proposed school consolidations

March 24 -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma has filed an open records request into a proposed round of school consolidations in Oklahoma City. On Monday, Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Aurora Lora presented a plan to consolidate five schools as the school looks for cost-saving measures. Continue...

Access To Public Records In Florida May Change. Why You Should Care About It?

March 24 -- Florida allows some of the easiest access to government records and meetings of any state in the country under the state's Sunshine Laws. There are exceptions, though, to this broad right: 1,119 cases at last count. Continue...

Wisconsin panel votes to purge cases from state online court database

March 24 -- Wisconsin's courts director is considering removing records of criminal cases that ended in dismissal or acquittals from the state's popular online courts database within months, rather than decades, out of concern that people are abusing the information. Continue...

CFOIC: Colorado Senate passes digital open-records bill, adds exemption for ‘critical infrastructure’

March 23 -- The Colorado Senate endorsed a heavily amended version of the open-records modernization bill Tuesday evening, adding a broad exemption to bar the disclosure of records that “could endanger public safety or the operation of critical infrastructure.” Continue...

TCOG: Senate committee approves bill requiring more financial disclosure by lawmakers

March 23 -- The Tennessee Senate State and Local Government Committee recommended for passage legislation that would require members of the General Assembly to disclose when they receive trips paid by a person with an interest in public policy. Continue...

Kentucky AG Seeks to Intervene in Open Records Case

March 23 -- Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear wants to join in an open records dispute between Kentucky State University and a student newspaper. Beshear's office said Tuesday he filed a motion in Franklin Circuit Court seeking to intervene. Continue...

Department of Homeland Security releases annual FOIA report - Backlog down as requests increase

March 22 -- The Department of Homeland Security released its annual FOIA report for 2016. Acting Chief FOIA Officer Jonathan R. Cantor said in the report that DHS receives more FOIA requests than any other department, accounting for 40% of all FOIA requests made across the federal government. Continue...

UNC one of two universities to use new public records request portal

March 22 -- The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Public Records Office has changed the way people make public records requests to the University. They now use Next Request, a web-based portal, to field public records requests. Continue...

Will Florida’s Constitution revision follow Sunshine laws?

March 22 -- Florida’s unique quest to update its state Constitution begins Monday as the 37-member commission meets for an organizational session in the Florida Senate chambers, and tensions have already started to mount behind the scenes. Continue...

Tn. Coalition for Open Government: House committee passes bill allowing requests by email with some limits for “bad players”

March 21 -- The House State Government committee unanimously passed H.B. 58 this week, which would make clear that citizens may send records requests by email to records custodians.

Continue...

Engadget - Removal and manipulation of federal public data are a concern, but the biggest threat is budgetary

March 21 -- Federal agencies like NASA and EPA conduct countless studies crucial to understanding our impact on climate change. Labor Department surveys are vital to determining the economic health of the country. Will the administration manipulate data that contradicts its political views? Will information become a tool of oppression? Turns out there's a simpler, but potentially just as troublesome possibility: The White House could simply make it disappear.  Continue...

What's New in Civic Tech: Sunlight Foundation Guide Seeks to Improve Open Data Practices

March 20 -- The Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that works with tech and other initiatives to make government more transparent, has released a new Tactical Data Engagement guide aimed at helping cities engage residents and improve communities with public data. Continue...

Michigan House Members Pass FOIA Expansion Bills

March 20 -- Michigan House members on Thursday passed bills that would make the governor, lieutenant governor and the Legislature accountable under the state's Freedom of Information Act. The package of 10 bills — a bipartisan effort — passed unanimously and now moves to the GOP-controlled Senate where its future is not so certain. Continue...

‘Always appeal,’ and more pro tips from a dozen FOIA experts

March 20 -- In January, CJR contributors published a selection of FOIA best practices, based on an analysis of more than 33,000 such requests. Among a number of conclusions, the analysis showed that individual practices (and the responses to them) can vary widely. Continue...

Kansas Senate to consider effort to block excessive fees for open records

March 17 -- The Senate may take up a bill soon meant to prevent public agencies from deterring open records requests or using them as a revenue source by charging excessive fees. Continue...

Rochester, NY: City looks to ease access to public records

March 17 -- Getting access to a city of Rochester police report, property record or purchasing data is now a matter of point and click, thanks to a new online process that Mayor Lovely Warren announced Thursday. An estimated 3,850 open records or Freedom of Information Law requests will come into the city this fiscal year — that's at least one for every hour of business, of every working day. Continue...

Ohio: Dozens of area public agencies cited for open records violations

March 17 -- Thirty-two area public agencies were among 357 across the state issued citations last year for not fully complying with Ohio’s public records laws, according to the state auditor’s office. Continue...

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FOI Summit Wrap-up and All Things Summit

2016 FOI Summit from Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital and the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Freedom of Information Act served as backdrops for the 2016 FOI Summit. The National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) and co-sponsor the D.C. Open Government Coalition (DCOGC) convened the summit on Friday and Saturday, October 7-8, 2016 at the Dupont Circle Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C. 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 > >


About NFOIC

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 >>

Your NFOIC

About Your NFOIC

The National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) protects our right to open government. Our mission is to make sure state and local governments and public institutions have laws, policies and procedures to facilitate the public’s access to their records and proceedings.

Since 1989, NFOIC has worked to ensure open, accessible and transparent government. NFOIC is a nonpartisan alliance of 46 state & regional affiliates. Our members include citizen-driven nonprofit FOI organizations, academic and First Amendment centers, journalistic societies and attorneys.

NFOIC and its coalition members advocate to remove obstacles at public institutions that block or hinder people from obtaining information that is rightfully theirs. We are keenly aware of the challenges to access information in an increasingly digital world.

NFOIC welcomes 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. Follow us on Twitter and “like” the cause of open government on Facebook. More about NFOIC...

Knight FOI Litigation Fund

Having your FOI request denied may leave no other option than pursuing legal action against the rejecting public agency or official. NFOIC offers financial support to litigate open government lawsuits through the Knight FOI Litigation Fund. Backed by a generous grant from the Knight Foundation, the fund helps to defray upfront costs such as filing fees, depositions, court costs and other expenses associated with legal actions. Applications may be submitted through your state FOI coalition or directly to NFOIC. 

2016 FOI Summit - Washington, D.C. 

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...

 

  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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