NFOIC's blog

Freedom of the press in the UK? Not for student newspapers

October 23, 2014 9:43 AM

As the editor of Plymouth Universityís student union paper, the Knowledge, Katie French felt she had a duty to hold her university to account. But four weeks before the deadline for her final-year dissertation she was threatened with expulsion when she printed a story that made Plymouth look bad. Read more »



Opinion: Transparency in government a must

October 23, 2014 9:42 AM

Since first taking office more than 30 years ago, Iíve held a firm belief that government should be conducted in an open and transparent manner. Government officials are rightly held to a higher standard of scrutiny and accountability, and that includes being truthful and forthcoming to the men and women theyíve been elected to serve. Read more »



University Libraries celebrates Open Access Week

October 23, 2014 9:40 AM

Open Access to scholarly research for everyone sounds like a great idea. For libraries, open access means being able to buy more scholarly journals - critical to students and faculty who want to do research. The general public also benefits by having improved availability of information. For publishers, however, the question of open access goes right to their bottom line. Read more »



NJ Governor Christie Blocks Release Of Pay-To-Play Probe Of Charlie Baker, Massachusetts GOP Nominee

October 23, 2014 9:39 AM

As chairman of the Republican Governors Association, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has helped Charlie Baker with millions of dollars worth of ads supporting his Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign. But that's not the only way he may be boosting the GOP candidate in the final weeks of a close election: Christie officials are blocking the release of the findings of New Jersey's pay-to-play investigation into Baker. Read more »



Technology and data analytics should transform municipal government, professors say

October 23, 2014 9:38 AM

Rarely is the term "city hall" considered synonymous with the words "innovation" or "efficiency." Too often, the public image of municipal government is of a static bureaucracy staffed with disinterested clock-watchers focused on petty tasks and arcane processes.

But two Harvard authorities on government and technology say it doesn't have to be that way. Read more »



Freedom of Information Request Backlog Hits 50,000 at DHS

October 23, 2014 9:36 AM

Those seeking documents from the Department of Homeland Security will likely have to wait for their requests to be filled. According to a new report released this month from the DHS Privacy Office, the agency now has a backlog of more than 50,000 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, The Hill reported, with most of those related to immigration records. Read more »



Open data for open lands: Recreation.gov should be a platform, not a silo.

October 22, 2014 7:36 PM

President Obama's well-publicized national open data policy (pdf) makes it clear that government data is a valuable public resource for which the government should be making efforts to maximize access and use. This policy was based on lessons from previous government open data success stories, such as weather data and GPS, which form the basis for countless commercial services that we take for granted today and that deliver enormous value to society. (You can see an impressive list of companies reliant on open government data via GovLab's Open Data 500 project.) Read more »



Open-government group eyes police-lawsuit settlements

October 22, 2014 7:35 PM

Philadelphia shells out a pretty penny every year to settle lawsuits based on allegations of police misconduct.

MuckRock.com, which bills itself as a "collaborative news site" that helps journalists, researchers and citizens analyze and share government documents, posted an online report yesterday that looked at how Philadelphia's annual payouts stack up against those in a handful of other large cities. The findings might not surprise you. Read more »



Accountability, Transparency, Participation, and Inclusion: A New Development Consensus?

October 22, 2014 7:34 PM

Four key principles-accountability, transparency, participation, and inclusion-have in recent years become nearly universal features of the policy statements and programs of international development organizations. Yet this apparently widespread new consensus is deceptive: behind the ringing declarations lie fundamental fissures over the value and application of these concepts. Understanding and addressing these divisions is crucial to ensuring that the four principles become fully embedded in international development work. Read more »



Symposium focuses on government transparency in Georgia

October 22, 2014 7:32 PM

Valdosta Daily Times Editor Jim Zachary began the first in a statewide series of Open Government Symposiums with the words of Thomas Jefferson, ìInformation is the currency of democracy.î

Elected officials, city and county administrative staff, community watchdog groups, college students and journalists convened at the Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University Friday. Read more »



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