FOI Advocate News Blog

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The NFOIC open government blog is a compendium of original concepts and analysis as well as ideas, edited excerpts and materials from a variety of sources. When the information comes from another source, we will attribute it and provide a link. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited; we will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

For Advocate posts prior to July, 2011, visit http://foiadvocate.blogspot.com/.
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September 4, 2015 7:14 PM

ANNOUNCMENT: The Newseum will host a Sept. 16 panel discussion to examine the various ways in which U.S. cities and states are incorporating police body cameras to hold officers accountable and build public trust.

Panelists will also discuss the future of police body cameras in the District of Columbia. The event is free to the public, but registration is required. Continue...

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September 4, 2015 6:14 PM

ANNOUNCEMENT: The D.C. Open Government Coalition will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, Sept. 17 starting at 4:30 p.m. The public is invited and refreshments will be served.

Coalition directors will join guests in discussing important open government matters in the District, including access to video from police body cameras (and to public records in general), open meetings and open data. The Coalition will welcome suggestions for its work in coming months. Continue>>>

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September 4, 2015 4:40 PM

An advisory committee that helps award grants for addressing the impact of local gaming in Colorado disregarded the Sunshine Law by failing to document its meetings and activities, a new state audit says.

Auditors also were unable to verify that the committee’s meetings were properly noticed, and they criticized the state Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) for lacking a transparent process for making grants to local governments. Continued>>>

September 4, 2015 4:05 PM

Gov. Rick Scott and Florida's three elected Cabinet members are going back to school next month.

They have agreed to give themselves a refresher course in public records and open meetings laws after months of controversy involving multiple allegations that the laws were skirted or violated, resulting in the payment of more than $1.3 million in taxpayer money to settle several cases, mostly against the governor. Continued>>>

 

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September 4, 2015 3:53 PM

The state Supreme Court will hear arguments this month on whether police can redact information gleaned from driver data from reports released to the public.

A federal appeals court ruled in 2012 that the village of Palatine, Illinois, violated the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act by leaving a parking ticket on a resident's car listing his personal information. Continue>>>

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September 3, 2015 7:30 PM

While recent decisions and court findings have clarified what records can be requested under Pennsylvania's Right-To-Know law, the state's open records chief said there are still some unanswered questions.

Erik Arneson, executive director of the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records, spoke to reporters Thursday on a wide variety of topics and issues. Continue>>>

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September 3, 2015 6:44 PM

Birmingham City Council members could undergo training this fall on recent changes to the state's Open Meetings Act, which take effect this month.

The training, which is being offered by the Jefferson County District Attorney's office, would provide an overview of the law and highlight the changes that most affect the council's meetings.  Continue>>>

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September 3, 2015 6:21 PM

A report last month described a tug of war for emails among supporters of opposing Republican candidates for Missouri attorney general in 2016.

At the center of the contest is the University of Missouri, the employer of Josh Hawley, a faculty member with the MU School of Law, who wants to be attorney general.  Continue>>>

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September 3, 2015 3:27 PM
The California Department of Justice has unveiled a state-run website to provide data on law enforcement’s interactions with the public.
 
The database is the culmination of months of work aimed at improving transparency and government accountability after incidents sparked debate across the country on police practices over the last year. Continue>>>
 
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September 2, 2015 1:40 PM

In Tennessee, people can inspect public records for free, but grabbing a photo could cost them.

As often as Tennessee officials gripe about copying these records, one might think common sense would prevail. Copying these records, officials say, is such a burden they have no choice but to charge fees — often as high as $1,000.  Continue>>>

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September 2, 2015 1:06 PM

In a huge step forward for transparency in the city of Jackson, Miss., Mayor Tony Yarber has today signed an executive order that will create an open data policy and establish a powerful commitment to government openness.

Making key datasets available to the public is a crucial part of Jackson's commitment to the What Works Cities initiative, a three-year program to help local governments across the nation use data and evidence to improve their residents' lives. Jackson, among the first round of cities selected for What Works Cities, is the first in the program to sign an executive order on open data.  Continue>>>

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September 2, 2015 12:55 PM

Changes to Tennessee law could force you to pay access fees to inspect public records. 

Currently free, governments and municipalities are considering charging citizens fees to read and examine any records that are part of the typical governmental process, such as inspections, deeds and licenses.  Continue>>>

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