LDieringer's blog

D.C. Private School Voucher Program Lacks Sunshine

July 19, 2017 2:38 PM
In an unusual 1900-word story beginning on the Metro section front page and continuing almost a full page inside, Washington Post reporters Mandy McLaren and Emma Brown on Saturday (July 15) sketched a little known education program, under a (print) headline “the opacity of school choice” and highlighted in the opening text the gaps in public information about the schools involved:


Nominations sought for the State Open Government Hall of Fame

July 19, 2017 2:07 PM

Nominate your favorite advocate for open and transparent government! Heroes of the 50 States: The State Open Government Hall of Fame is a joint venture by the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Freedom of Information Coalition. It was developed by leaders in both organizations as a way to recognize long-term contributions of individuals to open government in their respective states. Read more »



Registration now open for 2017 FOI Summit

July 19, 2017 2:01 PM

Each year, the FOI Summit features the exchange of ideas, experiences and strategies about the latest issues and trends surrounding freedom of information laws, policies and practices at the state and local levels across the U.S. The summit delivers two days of panel discussions, presentations, and group interaction featuring experts, practitioners and champions of transparency and open government. Join us October 13 - 14th in Nashville, Tennessee! More information here.



Pennsylvania: Gov. Wolf OKs Bill Removing Police Videos from Open Records Law

July 10, 2017 4:28 PM
A new Pennsylvania law exempts police audio and video recordings from the state’s Right-to-Know Law, leaving the release of those records largely to the discretion of police.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday signed a bill that also clears legal hurdles that kept police departments from using body cameras, likely expanding their use greatly.
 


Veterans Affairs fires more than 500 feds under Trump, even before new accountability law

July 10, 2017 3:57 PM
The agency that has been the main target of efforts to fire feds faster dismissed more than 500 employees this year — even before a new accountability law took effect.
 


D.C. Police Rebuff the Legislative Auditor, Refuse Again to Release Report on Police Action At Inaugural Protests

July 10, 2017 3:39 PM
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the D.C. Council’s auditor are stalemated in a battle of wills over release of a report on police use of special equipment, especially at 12th and L Streets and Franklin Square Park, N.W., during the January 20, 2017, Inauguration protests. Critics charge such “riot gear” is used more to terrify the public than protect officers and keep the peace.
 


D.C. Told to Scrap Unlawful Limits on Searches When the Public Asks for Government Emails

July 6, 2017 4:22 PM
Naming the sender or recipient of email (and a date range) is enough – all the law requires to trigger a search, according to a new ruling by the D.C. Office of Open Government (OOG).
 
The D.C. Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) had been warning they would only process search requests naming every possible recipient.
 


New Orleans, LA: The Lens is hosting a public records workshop

July 6, 2017 4:04 PM

Public records are your window into local government. On Wednesday, July 12, journalists from The Lens will be joined by public-records attorney Scott Sternberg to explain how you can use public records to hold your government agencies accountable and how to get those records. They will also explain what government records can tell you, why you’re entitled to see them, and how to get them. Continue...



Editorial: You, too, can hold government accountable in Colorado

July 6, 2017 3:44 PM
It should have been a simple fix to Colorado’s Open Records Act, but instead it became a complex political negotiation that was almost derailed.
 
Thankfully Colorado lawmakers were able to wrangle Senate Bill 40 back into a six-page, manageable piece of legislation requiring that government entities release records in digital formats that are searchable and sortable if the data or information is already in that format.
 


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