NFOIC's blog

EPA Wins FOIA Suit Over Farmers' Personal Info

January 30, 2015 1:46 PM

A Minnesota federal judge on Tuesday tossed two farm groups’ attempts to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from releasing addresses and other information about large-scale animal farms under the Freedom of Information Act, ruling the information was already publicly available. Read more »

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s Cabinet Got Schooled on Your Right to Know

January 30, 2015 1:33 PM

A governor’s first actions in office are watched closely by the media, presumably because they tell us something about their priorities.

Since Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, was inaugurated last week, he has signed a couple ethics-related executive orders. He has very publicly gone to war with the GOP by firing the chief of the state’s Office of Open Records, who was appointed by his predecessor Republican Gov. Corbett during his final days in office. Read more »

Hawaii Monitor: Wanted — Good Home for Government Watchdog

January 30, 2015 1:26 PM

The Office of Information Practices, the agency responsible for making sure state officials and agencies are complying with open meeting and public records requirements of state law, is looking for a new home.

Top on the wish list seems to be an administrative base where OIP can enjoy independence from undue political interference, and also minimize the inevitable conflicts that come from being part of state government while at the same time trying to hold state agencies and departments accountable. Read more »

Names from FOIA request voice disapproval at Janesville School Board meeting

January 30, 2015 1:19 PM

More than a dozen residents and two school board members spoke to a large crowd during the citizen comment portion of Tuesday's meeting of the Janesville School Board.

Most were there to question why their names appeared on a recent Freedom of Information Act request made by board member Bill Sodemann. The rest voiced disapproval with the use of partisan politics in the upcoming school board election. Read more »

Study shows FOIA reform top priority

January 30, 2015 1:12 PM

Improving access to government would be quality start in improving S.C. grade of F

State officials make lofty promises when it comes to ethics in government. They tout the transparency of legislative processes, accessibility of records and the openness of public meetings. But these efforts often fall short of providing any real transparency or legitimate hope of rooting out corruption. Read more »

New Michigan FOIA Caps Per Page Fees, Drops Costs Further If Agencies Miss Response Deadlines

January 29, 2015 12:02 PM

If all goes according to plan, this sort of thing won't be happening in Michigan anymore.

It's not at all clear if the police in Michigan are using the full extent of these [cellphone data-slurping] tools, and that's what the ACLU was curious about. So, it filed a Freedom of Information Act request on the matter... and was told that it would cost $544,680 to get that information. That doesn't sound like "freedom" of information, now does it? Read more »

ND attorney general opposes fine for open government violations

January 29, 2015 11:58 AM

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said Monday he’s interested in finding ways to boost compliance with North Dakota’s open government laws, but a proposed $500 penalty against repeat violators isn’t the way to go.

Stenehjem testified before the House Judiciary Committee against House Bill 1435, which would impose a $500 penalty on a member of a state governing body who has violated the state’s open records and open meetings laws more than once. Read more »

Salaita files federal lawsuit against UI

January 29, 2015 11:45 AM

Embattled professor Steven Salaita has filed a lawsuit against the University of Illinois to force the campus to hire him and compensate him for lost income and damages to his reputation.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court of the Northern District of Illinois. Read more »

FOIA Documents Reveal Massive DEA Program to Record American’s Whereabouts With License Plate Readers

January 29, 2015 11:31 AM

The Drug Enforcement Administration has initiated a massive national license plate reader program with major civil liberties concerns but disclosed very few details, according to new DEA documents obtained by the ACLU through the Freedom of Information Act. Read more »

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