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 18, 2015 10:19 AM

Four days after Michael Tyree was found fatally beaten in his cell at the Santa Clara County Main Jail allegedly at the hands of three correctional officers, an inmate died at another county facility with far less attention.

In fact, it would be two weeks before word of the second death surfaced beyond the walls of the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas and the Sheriff's Office that oversees it. As in the Tyree case, information did not initially come from officials, but through the murmurs of other inmates in the same jail wing. Continue...


September 18, 2015 10:15 AM

California-based OpenGov has launched a new data insights tool that will work with its existing government transparency software and aims to provide government administrators with a clearer view into the whole organization. The new tool – OpenGov Intelligence enables administrators to discover, share, and compare data across departments and other governments.

Working with the transparency software both tools essentially provide data visualizations internally and across governments. OpenGov Intelligence is primarily focused on visualizing financial data, but can be expanded to include other operational data sets. Continue...

September 18, 2015 10:09 AM

The Kentucky Attorney General's Office has ruled that Jefferson County Public Schools violated the state's open records law by blacking out too many details from records showing how the school district handled a workplace complaint involving a former high-level employee.

WDRB News appealed to the Attorney General's office after receiving a copy of the district's investigation of former communications chief Helene Kramer, whom Superintendent Donna Hargens admonished for making an inappropriate comment about another employee on Dec. 12. Continue...


September 18, 2015 9:49 AM

On the streets of the nation’s capital, during a summer crimewave that has wrought more than 100 homicides, a police body camera “experiment” is taking place.

A contentious debate surrounding the city’s 2016 budget may dictate how this experimental program evolves, however — providing what could be seen as a rough model for implementation in other cities.  Continue...


September 18, 2015 9:45 AM

There were a lot of sleepy eyes at the Wilson Building after some D.C. councilmembers stayed until the very end of a hearing on crime that started Wednesday night and lasted until 3 a.m Thursday.

Reducing violent crime and efficient emergency services are two things that city residents seem to be most concerned about these days. In the last 24 hours, both of those issues have been getting a lot of attention. Continue...


September 17, 2015 10:10 AM

North Carolina lawmakers have released a state budget compromise that will make more public safety documents off-limits under an expanded "terrorism exemption" to the state's open records law.

The expanded provision would add exemptions for documents that detail "patterns or practices associated with executive protection and security," as well as prison operations and responses to criminal activity. Continue...


September 17, 2015 9:54 AM

The civil lawsuit between Michigan State University and ESPN over university police reports involving student-athletes could be headed to the Michiga Supreme Court.

MSU will ask the Supreme Court to hear its appeal, university spokesman Jason Cody said. Cody said the request will happen before the Sept. 29 deadline. Continue...


September 17, 2015 9:49 AM

An open government advocate said Tuesday that a missing password that has rendered inaccessible part of a compact disc containing documents of a former state agency chief “looks indicative” of a wider records retention problem in Pennsylvania.

The comments came as the state Department of Education for a second day was unable to explain why it does not have the correct password connected to a compact disc that holds work-related documents of the department’s former acting secretary, Carolyn Dumaresq. Continue...


September 17, 2015 9:47 AM

An Atlanta-based technology company, Utility Associates, Inc., today announced it has unveiled a state-of-the-art software that will blur-out faces and personally identifiable markings such as body tattoos to protect the privacy and identity of victims, innocent bystanders, minors and undercover police officers in police In-Car and Body-Worn video.

This technology, Smart Redaction™, will save millions of dollars in manual video redaction labor costs and further ensure police protection, accountability and transparency. Continue...


September 17, 2015 9:44 AM

The keynote speaker at the Sunlight Foundation’s eighth TransparencyCamp was unapologetically critical of the District’s open government record. She was also on its payroll.

On Saturday, Traci L. Hughes, D.C.’s very first Office of Open Government director, delivered a humorous, if at time scathing, recollection of her journey to the position. Continue...


September 17, 2015 9:42 AM

An initial State Department review concluded that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not send a single work-related email through her personal account for roughly four months during her tenure, though the government claims it has since filled in the gaps.

A timeline of Clinton’s email “gaps” circulated internally among State Department officials this year shows that Clinton did not send or receive a single email on the personal account for a month and a half after being sworn in as the nation’s top diplomat in 2009. Continue...


September 16, 2015 11:59 AM

All the medical records of the female serial killer who inspired the play and film "Arsenic and Old Lace" will remain sealed forever, Connecticut's Supreme Court ruled this week, rejecting a request to open some of them half a century after her death.

A Connecticut journalist planning a book on Amy Archer Gilligan, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1919 after admitting to poisoning one of her husbands as well as a resident of a nursing home where she worked by putting arsenic in their food, had requested the release of the documents. Continue...


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