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 9, 2015 12:01 PM

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said Tuesday that lawmakers will not be pursuing changes to the state's open records law this session, despite a request from his office to have a bill drafted setting different standards for the Legislature.

The request to treat the Legislature differently than all other state and local governmental bodies came three weeks after Vos and other lawmakers retreated from their proposal in July to gut the open records law after a loud bipartisan outcry. Continue...


September 8, 2015 8:06 PM

The online public-records website MuckRock announced recently that it’ll be offering a crowdfunding-like option to its users.

The project offers news consumers a chance to pledge money toward ongoing reporting projects. The platform is also giving journalists an improved way to display their progress and source material. Continue...


September 8, 2015 7:45 PM

A Michigan lawmaker is renewing a push to subject the state legislature and governor's office to requests under the Freedom of Information Act.

This comes the same week the House Business Office released a summary of its findings on the recent sex scandal involving representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat. Continue...


September 8, 2015 7:29 PM

Anyone interested in learning more about Massachusetts' open meeting law is being encouraged to attend one of a series of educational forums hosted by state Attorney General Maura Healey.

The forums are part of a larger effort by her office to help the public and local officials better understand and comply with the law, Healey said. Continue...


September 8, 2015 5:34 PM


Contact: Daniel Bevarly
239.823.1811 •
Sept. 8, 2015 — The Associated Press General Counsel Karen Kaiser will be keynote speaker Oct. 10 at the 2015 FOI Summit Hall of Fame Luncheon in Denver, Colorado. 

Kaiser, who serves as AP senior vice president, counsels global AP reporters on all editorial matters including subpoena and libel defense, government investigations, reporter’s privilege, and access issues. Her efforts to ensure open and transparent government include leading AP’s legal strategy against the U.S. Department of Justice following the seizure of AP’s phone records and its lawsuit against the State Department for access to the emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In 2014, Kaiser received the Eugene Pulliam First Amendment Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and was named as one of “America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel” by the National Law Journal.

Co-hosted by the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, the 2015 FOI Summit will feature two days of panel discussions, presentations, and group interaction with experts, advocates and champions of transparency and open government.  Former Miami Herald managing editor Pete Weitzel will be inducted into the State Open Government Hall of Fame, also known as the “Heroes of the 50 States,” at the luncheon.

Visit or contact the coalition at 573-882-4856 to learn more about the FOI Summit or about the coalition and its state and regional member organizations


2015 FOI Summit Sponsors:



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...


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>>>


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>>>



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>>>


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>>>


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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