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

September 8, 2016 1:35 PM

A best selling author and national investigative journalist for over 30 years, Charles “Chuck” Lewis[L1]  will be the featured keynote speaker at NFOIC’s annual FOI Summit. The FOI Summit convenes this year in Washington, D.C. on October 7-8 at the DuPont Circle Hotel.  Charles will deliver his remarks during Saturday’s State Open Government Hall of Fame luncheon.

Charles is a former producer for CBS News 60 Minutes and a reportorial producer for ABC News. He began the Center for Public Integrity from his home in 1989, growing it to a full-time staff of 40 people. He led the Center until 2005 when he co-founded Global Integrity.

He also began the first global network of premier investigative reporters working across borders on in-depth journalism stories in 65 countries on six continents, The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Since 2008, Charles has been executive editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, the largest university-based, nonprofit news organization in the U.S., which he also founded.  In the spring of 2009, the Workshop began publishing in-depth stories about government and corporate accountability, ranging widely from the environment and health to national security and the economy. Its reporting has won eight national journalism awards and involved co-publishing partnerships with the Washington Post, the New York Times, PBS Frontline and many other news organizations.

Called "the godfather of nonprofit investigative journalism" by PBS MediaShift, Charles Lewis’ latest book, “935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity” (2014), explores the many ways truth is manipulated by governments and corporations.

You can register for the FOI Summit online or by contacting NFOIC 573.882.4856.

September 8, 2016 10:12 AM

As the Archivist of the United States announced earlier this week, you can now review and comment on the National Archives and Records Administration’s Open Government Plan 4.0 on Github. The plan covers steps the National Archives intends to take over the next two years to strengthen open government within our agency and across the Federal government.


September 8, 2016 10:06 AM

A week and a half ago, Attorney General Herb Slatery's office issued an opinion stating that none of the donors contributing funds towards the construction of the new Tennessee State Museum need to be made public, as the non-profit Tennessee State Museum Foundation is not itself a governmental entity. But as the Knoxville News Sentinel reports, not everyone is happy with this:

Gov. Bill Haslam — who is leading the campaign — says the names should be made public, but not the exact amount of each contribution.


September 8, 2016 9:55 AM

A group of open-government activists is working to get a CalAware-endorsed measure strengthening San Francisco’s Sunshine Ordinance onto a future citywide ballot.

CalAware’s general counsel, Terry Francke, drafted the original language in the ordinance, which the city Board of Supervisors watered down and then passed in 1993, and voters approved a package of reforms to the law in November 1999.


September 8, 2016 9:47 AM

An open records case being fought by Attorney General Brad Schimel will go before the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Tuesday.

The Republican who tries to position himself as a strong advocate of transparency and regularly holds training sessions for government officials on the open meetings and records laws is appealing to keep secret a pair of law enforcement training videos made when he was working as the Waukesha County district attorney.


September 7, 2016 10:36 AM

Pull back the curtain! So says a group of elected officials and activist groups that will file briefs Tuesday in support of a two-year legal battle to get the city to release the disciplinary records of the cop who fatally choked Eric Garner back in 2014, organizers said.

The effort is being mounted by Garner's mother Gwen Carr, members of the City Council, Public Advocate Letitia James and Communities United for Police Reform, a nonprofit dedicated to greater police accountability.


September 7, 2016 9:48 AM

Results reported August 30 showed a large majority of reporters answering a survey by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and who use the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in their work support plans due in the new year that will require federal agencies to post online all records released.

Of the 107 responding, 83 per cent supported the idea, though 58 per cent did so only on condition that general release was delayed as much as a month to protect against competitors scooping the original requester.


September 7, 2016 9:41 AM

Join the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government the evening of September 20, 2016 for a discussion of the state's open public records and meetings laws. This event is being provided at no cost to attendees with our thanks to The Amboy Guardian for making the arrangements.

Come learn about the laws that provide public access to government records and meetings and that allow citizens greater insight into the operations of state and local governments in New Jersey.


September 6, 2016 11:54 AM

It's a bright new day for the collection, cataloging, and distribution of public data in Detroit.

And you can put the emphasis on "new." Erica Raleigh is the executive director of Data Driven Detroit (D3), a company dedicated to providing and analyzing local public data. Raleigh, D3's second hire after its founding in 2008, recalls that they spent the bulk of their time in those early days just trying to get their hands on public data.


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.


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, which Mandel said keeps politicians honest by listing every dime of state government spending.


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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