FOI Advocate News Blog

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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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July 15, 2015 11:17 AM

A good-government bill inspired by the Oakwood Hills Village Board’s closed-session handling of a power plant proposal is awaiting action by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

House Bill 175, which will give people a larger window to report potential violations of the Illinois Open Meetings Act to the Illinois Attorney General’s public-access office, was sent to Rauner’s desk at the end of June, about a month after it unanimously cleared the House and Senate.  Continue>>>

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July 15, 2015 9:46 AM

SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Scott Wilk’s, R- Santa Clarita, bill AB 85 which will stop state agencies from taking advantage of a loophole that allows them to hold closed door meetings without public involvement passed unanimously out of the Senate Governmental Organization Committee.

“State agencies, such as the California High-Speed Rail Authority, have been exploiting a loophole to hold two-member committee meetings without following standard transparency practices,” said Wilk. Continue>>>

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July 14, 2015 12:52 PM

(ALBUQUERQUE) - The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government (FOG) and freelance journalist Peter St. Cyr today filed a lawsuit against the New Mexico Department of Health asking the court to declare invalid the DOH regulations which keep secret the names of licensed medical marijuana producers.

Filed in the state district court in Albuquerque, the lawsuit also asks for an order under the Inspection of Public Records Act directing the DOH to release the names of all such producers as well as applicants for producer licenses.  Continue>>>

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July 14, 2015 11:36 AM

It didn't take long for journalists to criticize the flaw -- for them -- in the federal government's new pilot program on making public all responses to Freedom of Information Act requests. It didn't take much longer for open government advocates to suggest the reporters were putting their interests ahead of the public's.

"Get this," tweeted Erik Wemple, media critic at The Washington Post. "Federal government is implementing a FOIA reform that could actually hurt journos."  Continue>>>

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July 14, 2015 9:23 AM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The agency in charge of school modernization mismanaged money, an audit shows, and questions about ensuring financial transparency and accountability remain.

Some of the money, the audit says, is missing.  Continue>>>

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July 10, 2015 1:51 PM

With considerable discussion and side events expected next week at the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the importance of transparency and open data, it is worth noting recent improvement within our own government that strengthens our voice on data transparency.

USAID, the principal U.S. development agency, while more accustomed to using data than most U.S. foreign affairs agencies, has been unexpectedly slow on the uptake on data transparency. But uptake has now occurred.  Continue>>>

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July 10, 2015 11:37 AM

CLEVELAND – Five months after their initial roll out, police body cameras are now in four of Cleveland’s five police districts. Police are asking for public feedback through an online survey as some question whether the program is achieving its goals, which include accountability and transparency.

Officers in Cleveland’s Fourth District first started wearing the cameras in February. By the end of this week, police leaders said 54 percent of implementation will be completed, with more than 800 cameras in use. Officials said there have been only minor issues with the deployment, so far.  Continue>>>

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July 10, 2015 11:21 AM

DINWIDDIE — Dinwiddie County was one of only 10 counties in the state to receive an “A+” rating for transparency between the people and government.

“When this board took office four years ago, one of our top priorities was to increase the level of transparency in Dinwiddie County government,” said Dan Lee, Board of Supervisors chairman. “The updated rating is evidence of what we have accomplished by working together with each other, administration, staff and the citizens of Dinwiddie County.”  Continue>>>

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July 9, 2015 1:40 PM

Score one for transparency.

State senators apparently have eliminated a loophole in Right-to-Know legislation that would have enabled Pennsylvania’s state-related universities to shield from the public many of their highest employee salaries.  Continue>>>

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July 9, 2015 1:32 PM

A bill intended to bring increased transparency to the California Public Utilities Commission passed the California Senate Energy Committee Tuesday.

Assembly Bill 825, introduced by Assemblyman Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), would establish an independent authority to investigate the CPUC. It would also create a Public Advisor within the Commission to put transparency measures in place.  Continue>>>

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July 9, 2015 9:17 AM

The New Jersey Foundation for Open Government (NJFOG) on May 29 filed suit in Union County Superior Court against the Summit Housing Authority and its Custodian of Records alleging violations of the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) and Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA).

A hearing to address the OPRA counts in the case (Docket No. UNN-L-1927-15) is scheduled for July 10 at 10:00 a.m. before Judge James Hely, J.S.C.  OPMA counts will be addressed at a later date.  Continue>>>

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July 8, 2015 11:47 AM

The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government has named four, including Albuquerque Journal Editor Kent Walz, to receive the group’s top honor for open government, the Dixon First Amendment Award.

The award honors the memory of FOG co-founder and longtime board member William S. Dixon, an Albuquerque attorney and leading defender of the First Amendment and the sunshine laws in New Mexico.  Continue>>>

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