NFOIC's blog

Editorial: Bolster public confidence in government

April 21, 2014 8:00 AM

For decades, Florida’s best leaders have embraced open, accountable, ethical government as a fundamental right of the state’s residents.

But others aren’t so sure. Open-government rules are seen as stumbling blocks to efficient action, and inquisitive members of the public cast as annoying gadflies. Trust us, these officials say. We know what’s best. These warring points of view play out in nearly every session of the Legislature. Read more »



Open the library books - Queens Library must let controller audit

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April 21, 2014 7:58 AM

The Queens Library trustees have joined President Tom Galante in stonewalling scrutiny of the system’s financial records. The whole lot of them must be scared. Read more »

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IRS Tea Party Targeting Scandal: New Revelations Emerge

April 21, 2014 7:57 AM

IRS scandal update: Emails recently released through a Freedom of Information request seem to indicate that former IRS official Lois Lerner improperly contacted the US Department of Justice about whether Tea Party groups could be criminally prosecuted for “lying” on their applications about the scope of their political activities. Read more »



Open Data Policy called step forward for Md. transparency

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April 21, 2014 7:56 AM

Maryland was recently ranked 46th in the nation for transparency, but a new law could put the state ahead with a policy requiring that data be made more easily accessible to the public.
Though officials post a good deal of public information on Maryland's StateStat database, advocates of open government say that data can be hard to evaluate, search and use because it is not formatted in a way that computers can easily scan. Read more »

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Editorial: Thumbs down to DDA actions; up to openness

April 21, 2014 7:55 AM

We believe: Cheyenne's downtown group should obey the state's transparency laws. Meanwhile, we like that the Legislature may be more open in the future. Tell us what you think: Contact us via email at opinion@wyomingnews.com. Read more »



New Paltz (N.Y.) board asks for more info on housing project

April 21, 2014 7:53 AM

The town board has filed a Freedom of Information request with the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency, seeking information about the agency's involvement with the developer of the proposed Park Point housing complex.

The FOIL request comes on the heels of the IDA's decision to grant the developer, Wilmorite, a 25-year tax abatement for the $60 million SUNY New Paltz project, a move the town board has opposed. Read more »



Texting during public meetings raises questions

April 14, 2014 8:26 AM

Drivers caught texting in Tennessee face fines up to $50, while those who use cellphones in classrooms or courtrooms may be forced to hand them over. Texting during church service is generally a no-no and considered down-right rude while dining with friends.

So, is it proper for lawmakers to converse with one another, their family or constituents via text during a public meeting? The answer appears to depend upon the message, open government proponents say, although getting to the message is quite another problem. Read more »



International: Impact of open government data to be discussed at forum

April 14, 2014 8:13 AM

The Emirates Identity Authority, the United Nations Public Administration Network and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs will jointly conduct the first Open Government Data Forum on April 28 and 29 at Ritz Carlton Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

Abdulaziz Al Maamari, Director of Government communications and Community, Emirates ID, said 27 keynote speakers from 15 countries, mainly Europe, USA, and the region, will attend the meeting. Read more »



New law would require open records compliance for N.Y. agencies

April 14, 2014 8:13 AM

New state legislation is being drafted to require state agencies to comply with the section of the open-records law that calls for posting information online.

Part of New York’s Freedom of Information Law requires each state agency to maintain up-to-date “subject matter lists” — indexes of all records maintained by the agency — and to post them on the Internet.

A study by The Ithaca Journal of 86 state agencies, published in a March 15 Watchdog Report, found 79 agencies were not in compliance with that part of the law. Read more »



Editorial: Championing transparency - Open government is good government, and it starts with elections

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April 14, 2014 8:12 AM

Secretary of State Ross Miller has found himself oddly under fire for aggressively upholding campaign disclosure laws, odd because some of his critics are self-professed champions of government transparency.

Miller, a Democrat, has been targeted for suing the Republican-aligned Alliance for America’s Future, a Virginia group that refused to register as a political action committee despite buying nearly $200,000 in political ads in 2010 supporting Brian Sandoval’s campaign for governor. Read more »

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