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/.
A South Carolina State University board committee's recent meeting to approve an organizational structure for the institution was illegal, says Bill Rogers, executive director of the South Carolina Press Association.
The university was nearing the March 13 deadline to hand in documents to the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges and an approved organizational structure was part of the package required by the accrediting agency.
Trustees failed to vote on it at a meeting March 10. Instead, they gave authority to the board's executive committee to tentatively approve the document. Continue>>>
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education notified parents this week that personal information about students was inadvertently sent to a reporter in February, education officials said.
District officials released an Excel file in response to a Freedom of Information Act inquiry from the Web site BuzzFeed, that included audited enrollment data about individual students and information about suspensions and expulsions.
Personal information was redacted, and the file was locked when it was sent, but education officials later realized that the file could be unlocked. Continue>>>
The state Attorney General's office is welcoming the public for an educational forum on Open Meeting Law in Hanover on Wednesday, April 1.
The meeting is one way the office aims to help governing bodies as well as members of the public to better understand and comply with the requirements of the Open Meeting Law, according to a news release. State, local, regional, and county public bodies are required to comply with the Open Meeting Law.
Since taking over responsibility for enforcement of the Open Meeting Law at all levels of government in July 2010, the Attorney General's Division of Open Government has responded to more than 10,300 telephone and email inquiries from members of public bodies, municipal counsel, and the public, the release said. Continue>>>
The state's Open Meeting Law is "unfair and undemocratic." It "puts cold water on the process and stifles innovation." The law is used to "harass local officials," and its agenda is to make things easier for the press, "who have done nothing to deserve it."
Those are just a few of the comments made by small-town select board members and others on Saturday, following a presentation by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy and her staffer Amy Nable on the state law that's designed to ensure that the public's business is conducted in the open.
Healy was elected attorney general in November, and Nable is chief of the office's Division of Open Government. The occasion was Sen. Stan Rosenberg's 2015 municipal conference held at the Clarion Hotel in Northampton, an annual event for local officials from Hampshire and Franklin counties. Continue>>>
For the third consecutive General Assembly, a bill to make the University of Delaware and Delaware State University subject to Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) requests has been introduced.
In 2011, House Bill 126 never made it out of committee. In 2014, House Bill 331 passed unanimously — but not in the form sponsors intended.
Now, lawmakers are taking another crack at it.
All three bills have sought to define the universities as public bodies, thus removing exemptions to FoIA requests.
Enacted nationally in 1966 and in Delaware in 1977, the Freedom of Information Act opened up government, allowing citizens to submit formal requests for information. Continue>>>