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 6, 2016 11:49 AM

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - The University of Kentucky has filed a lawsuit against its student-run newspaper to appeal a state attorney general's opinion that said the school violated the Kentucky Open Records Act.

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September 6, 2016 11:37 AM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County Del. and candidate for state auditor JB McCuskey is a big proponent of an Ohio website that has been named the top government transparency site in the country.

McCuskey visited Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel last week to learn more about Ohiocheckbook.com, which Mandel said keeps politicians honest by listing every dime of state government spending.

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September 2, 2016 1:28 PM

Lawyers representing the Daily Press will present an oral argument Thursday asking the Supreme Court of Virginia to review a Newport News judge's ruling that court officials do not have to release their statewide database of case information.

The court typically uses the oral argument to clarify any questions or concerns they have about the briefs the parties have filed, said Hunter Sims, the attorney representing the Daily Press.

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September 2, 2016 1:02 PM

TRENTON, N.J. — A state appeals court ruled Wednesday that government agencies in New Jersey may deny access to public records by saying they can “neither confirm nor deny” their existence.

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September 1, 2016 2:58 PM

35,092.

That is the number of people who died on our nation’s highways in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2015. Your neighbor driving to work. Your niece walking to the park. Your brother biking home. Every day, nearly 100 people die from vehicle-related accidents. Continue...

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September 1, 2016 2:11 PM

An initial hearing will be held on September 28 in New Brunswick before Middlesex County Assignment Judge Travis L. Francis for a lawsuit alleging that the Spotswood Board of Education has violated the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) and Open Public Records Act (OPRA).

The complaint (docket no. MID-L-4615-16) was filed jointly this August by non-profit organization the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government (NJFOG) and Heather Grieco, who is a member of the organization. Continue...

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September 1, 2016 1:59 PM

News Release

September 1, 2016                                                                                         Contact: Lara Dieringer

239.823.1811 • dieringerl@missouri.edu

 

 

Tennessean FOI Champion is 2016 Inductee to the

State Open Government Hall of Fame

A former Tennessee Press Association president, director of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and the national Audit Bureau of Circulation,  judge, district attorney, newspaper editor and publisher has been become the 16th inductee into the State Open Government Hall of Fame. Selected by a panel from the National Freedom of Information Coalition and Society of Professional Journalists, Sam D. Kennedy becomes another member of the “Heroes of the Fifty States” for his work to promote open government and transparency. 

For more than half a century, Sam D. Kennedy has been a First Amendment proponent and active FOI advocate of Tennessee state and local government. Throughout his long career, he served the public in many capacities including positions spanning government, law and journalism.

In Maury County, the Middle Tennessee community Sam calls home, he has served as General Sessions Judge, District Attorney General, head of the Tennessee Compensation Commission, member of the Tennessee Board of Education, and as County Executive. He has also served for many years as the editor and publisher of his hometown newspaper, the Columbia Daily Herald. During this time, Sam served as president of the Tennessee Press Association chairing the TPA’s Government Affairs Committee for three decades. 

Sam is credited with leading the charge to have the Tennessee General Assembly pass and adopt in 1974 the Tennessee Sunshine Law. Because of his “insider’s view” of the legal, government and journalism communities, Sam “clearly understood the value of a truly open government, and of the enormous dangers to democracy a lack of transparency represents,” said Gregg Jones, CEO of Jones Media, Inc. of Greenville, TN.

Sam was instrumental in the establishment in 2003 of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government (TCOG), an affiliate state coalition with the NFOIC.  “Today, many Tennesseans who have no idea who Sam D. Kennedy is are benefitting from his ceaseless fight to keep our local and state governments as transparent as possible,” added Jones.

The Open Government Hall of Fame is a joint initiative of the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) and the Society of Professional Journalists. Inductees are recognized for their "long and steady effort to preserve and protect the free flow of information about state and local government that is vital to the public in a democracy."  Formal induction takes place on October 8th at the 2016 Freedom of Information Summit in Washington, D.C.

August 31, 2016 10:38 AM

The New Jersey Supreme Court decided it would hear a dispute between Galloway Township and the New Jersey public-records advocate and blogger John Paff over the state’s Open Public Records Act.

The conflict is over the access of electronic records under OPRA.

What is not in dispute is that Paff made an electronic request for information. Continue...

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August 31, 2016 10:30 AM

Among the findings in the report released by the state auditor Monday, both the Missouri House and Senate were criticized for a lack of policy regarding open records.

Auditor Nicole Galloway urged both bodies to have written policies to clarify their stance. Leadership both in the House and Senate declared its bodies exempt from Missouri's Sunshine Law, which allows residents to query governmental bodies for documentation. Continue...

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August 31, 2016 10:24 AM

As the Obama administration comes to a close, the White House is seeking to highlight progress it's made to open and use data over the past eight years — while pushing those inside and outside government to continue the momentum.

One way it's are doing that is through their first White House Open Data Innovation Summit set for Sept. 28, which will be co-hosted by the Office of Management and Budget, the Small Business Administration and the Data Foundation. Continue...

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August 30, 2016 1:09 PM

As the state battles an Oklahoma Indian tribe in court over the operation of its high-interest loan program, a second legal front has opened up over the alleged destruction of social media posts by the former top lawyer for the Department of Banking.

The legal wrangling opens a new area of law in the internet age, where regulators will have to determine when work-related social media posts become part of the public record. Continue...

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