NFOIC's blog

Tom Schenk takes over as Chicago's chief data officer without fanfare

December 18, 2014 1:08 PM

Tom Schenk quietly moved into the role of chief data officer for the City of Chicago in September, more than a year after Brett Goldstein vacated that role, city officials said Monday.

Schenk previously served as the city’s director of analytics and oversaw its open data portal. Read more »



How a popular government-transparency bill suddenly died in Congress

December 18, 2014 1:04 PM

Nothing comes easy for the current Congress, which has already left its mark as one of the least productive in U.S. history.

The Fighting 113th has agreed in principle on the need to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act, a key government-transparency law that guarantees public access to federal records. Read more »



Editorial: Just a matter of time

December 18, 2014 12:49 PM

Early this year, the Air Force cracked down on FOIA requests for unfiltered radar records tracking air traffic across the United States. In its decision to withhold data that had been accessible for god knows how long, Air Combat Command implied that the release of certain computerized documents — in this case, known as En Route Intelligence Tool, or ERIT data — would expose vulnerabilities in coverage. Read more »



FOIA reform is dead for now

December 18, 2014 12:44 PM

Freedom of Information Act reform is dead for this Congressional session. As House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) closed the last meeting of the 113th Congress, the FOIA bill was nowhere to be found despite pleas from both sides of the aisle.

The Senate last week passed updated bipartisan FOIA legislation and urged House lawmakers to pass the bill before the current session ends. Read more »



Employee Resumes and Applications Subject to Release under FOIA

December 18, 2014 12:27 PM

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Wichita's chance to increase government transparency on spending

December 17, 2014 5:25 PM

The Wichita City Council can decide to increase transparency in regards to spending, or let it remain being spent in secret.

The City of Wichita has three surrogate quasi-governmental agencies that are almost totally taxpayer-funded, specifically Go Wichita Convention and Visitors Bureau, Wichita Downtown Development Corporation, and Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition. Each agency contends it is not a “public agency” as defined in Kansas law, and therefore does not have to fulfill records requests. Read more »



FOIA bill will improve government transparency

December 17, 2014 5:14 PM

In response to recent emails and phone calls I have received regarding my “yes” vote on HB 3796, I would like to explain why this legislation will, in fact, increase access to public records and improve the way voluminous or large Freedom of Information Act requests are processed. Read more »



Opinion: Citizens united going to court over "stonewalled" Hillary records

December 17, 2014 5:09 PM

This week Citizens United sued the State Department in federal court over its unlawful withholding of documents relating to Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State.

We are currently in pre-production for a sequel to our landmark film Hillary: The Movie. This film will take a hard look at Hillary Clinton’s career and will tell the truth about her failed record as Barack Obama’s Secretary of State. Read more »



Bid for Records Under FOIA's Crime-Fraud Exception Fails

December 17, 2014 5:05 PM

A crime fraud exception to the federal open records law does not apply to emails sought by immigration lawyers who say government lawyers repeatedly deceived the courts about the ability of removed immigrants to return to the United States once they win a second chance in immigration court, a judge has ruled.

Southern District Judge Jed Rakoff (See Profile) denied the summary judgment motion of a coalition led by the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild for 27 documents under the Freedom of Information Act, (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. §552. Read more »



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