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 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.


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.


September 1, 2016 2:58 PM


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...


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...


September 1, 2016 1:59 PM

News Release

September 1, 2016                                                                                         Contact: Lara Dieringer

239.823.1811 •



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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