LDieringer's blog

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.
 


Editorial: Defend Your Right to Know

July 5, 2017 4:11 PM
Fifty years ago today, Washington witnessed a revolution. The Freedom of Information Act went into effect, establishing Americans' right to know.
 
FOIA was a breathtaking accomplishment, the end result of a 12-year effort by John Moss, a Democratic congressman from California. The bill established that any citizen -- anyone, not just officeholders or journalists or well-connected insiders -- could ask the government for information, and the government had to respond. Every citizen had a right to know what the government was up to.


VA: Judge's FOIA Ruling Creates More Questions Than Answers

July 5, 2017 3:45 PM

How much information should the public have about members of the General Assembly? And how should they go about getting it? Read more »



Editorial: Painful as it could be, some files must be made public (Minnesota)

July 3, 2017 2:37 PM

Sometime soon, a Stearns County judge will review about 168 pages that Patty and Jerry Wetterling have asked to keep out of the public eye.

The Stearns County sheriff was set to release on June 5 the entire 56,000 pages of its closed investigation into the 1989 abduction of the Wetterlings’ son, Jacob. The attorney for the Wetterlings, Doug Kelley, persuaded a judge to stop that from happening to prevent the release of a small number of those records that involve details of “the inner workings” of the Wetterling family, according to a court filing. Read more »



Two Pa. Senate bills argue Sunshine for union deals, but local officials warn "chilling effect"

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July 3, 2017 2:18 PM

Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Act leaves the public in the dark when it comes to collective bargaining negotiations, but two state Senate bills could shed some light on these closed-door meetings.

Two Republican senators from Lancaster County have each submitted bills that would change the state’s open records law and open government union negotiations to public review, but local and state officials say the bills would stop talks before they get started. Read more »

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