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NM: Doña Ana County loses $90K open records lawsuit

February 23 -- A state judge has ordered Doña Ana County government to pay more than $90,000 to an Alamogordo-based pet advocacy group for failing to hand over public records in a timely way. Continue...

Va.: Lawmakers vote for four ways to increase government secrecy

February 23 -- The Senate General Laws committee also voted to shield records related to bingo and other charitable gambling supplies, as well as making confidential engineering and construction plans for single-family houses filed with local building officials to ensure compliance with state building codes. Continue...

TX: Public access to records opposed by Webb County Commissioners

February 23 -- County commissioners passed a resolution opposing the amendment or repeal of any current statutes or rules that authorize local control over records held by the county and district clerks. Continue...

NM State Sen. wants parents to have access to investigations into school police 

February 22 -- Laura Gutierrez has been trying to get public records from Albuquerque Public Schools for more than a year. In 2014 a school law enforcement officer allegedly used force against her autistic son.  Continue...

Sen. Baxley’s bill takes aim at Florida’s Sunshine Law

February 22 -- The First Amendment Foundation is warning against dangerous implications of a bill filed by state Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Lady Lake. Continue...

VT: Judge agrees court records in murder case can't be hidden

February 22 -- Crime scene photographs and the 911 emergency call reporting a homicide and an attempted homicide in Franklin County last month must remain available for the public to inspect and hear, a Vermont Superior Court judge has ruled. Continue...

What's New in Civic Tech: White House Removes Open Data Info, Internet Archive Offers to Host PACER Data

February 21 -- The White House has removed all of the information that was previously available through its open data portal; The Internet Archive has offered to host all of the data from the government’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records system; Kansas City has shared its Smart City data with 18 other cities, two countries and five federal agencies, hoping to spread lessons it has learned about using data to improve local government performance; Fargo, N.D.'s use of data is getting a big boost from Bloomberg Philanthropies, which has selected the city to be part of its What Works Cities initiative. Continue...

Plan to change Nevada open records law met with resistance

February 21 -- A bill proposed by the Nevada attorney general’s office to categorize and make it easier to identify exemptions to public records disclosure was met with confusion and suspicion Thursday by members of the Assembly Government Affairs Committee. Continue...

Nevada Legislators Are Exempt From Public Records Laws — For Now

February 20 -- Nevada legislators make public records law, but it turns out they don’t have to follow it. That could change during this legislative session. Senate Bill 170 would make the Nevada Legislature subject to public records laws, and would expand the kinds of information that can be requested. Continue...

Wisconsin Supreme Court wrestles over open meetings law

February 20 -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court wrestled with how broadly to apply the state's open meetings law in a case Wednesday that open government advocates warn could provide a gateway to getting around public access requirements. Continue...

TN: Bill easing open records requests passes House committee

February 20 -- The House State Government Subcommittee recommended passage of a bill sponsored by Rep. Courtney Rogers, R-Goodlettsville, that would require records custodians that accept requests "in writing, to accept a handwritten request submitted in person or by mail, an email request, or a request on an electronic form submitted online." Continue...

Gilman Halsted, retired Wisconsin Public Radio reporter, named Distinguished Wisconsin Watchdog

February 17 -- Gilman Halsted, a retired Wisconsin Public Radio reporter who produced award-winning examinations of the state’s criminal justice system, has been named the 2017 recipient of the Distinguished Wisconsin Watchdog Award. Continue...

From CFOIC: House committee unanimously endorses bill to open records on wage-law violations

February 17 -- A wage-theft transparency measure that died in the Colorado legislature last year passed unanimously Thursday in the House Judiciary Committee. The bill allows the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to disclose whether an employer has cheated its workers. Continue...

Important open meetings case before Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday

February 17 -- The Wisconsin Supreme Court is to hear arguments in a case that could give school boards and other governmental bodies a way around the open meetings law. The case up for argument Wednesday focuses on whether meetings of a committee created by employees of the Appleton Area School District to review books for use in a ninth grade class should have been open to the public. Continue...

Court Rules Missouri Corrections Officials Did Not Violate Sunshine Law In Execution Cases

February 16 -- Missouri corrections officials are not required to disclose the identities of the pharmacists who supply the state’s lethal execution drugs, an appeals court ruled Tuesday. Reversing a lower court judge who had ordered the Department of Corrections to reveal their names, the Missouri Court of Appeals found that the DOC did not violate the state’s Sunshine Law by refusing to provide them. Continue...

NC: Military panel skirts open-meetings law

February 16 -- Last week, a state commission that advocates for the military dodged a public discussion of a controversial wind-energy project. In doing so, government-transparency advocates say the panel appears to have violated North Carolina’s open-meetings law. Continue...

MO: Local Special Report on Government Transparency finds Inconsistent Sunshine Request Results

February 16 --  Missouri's Sunshine Law is designed to make sure we, as taxpayers, know what our state and local entities are doing with our money. 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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