LDieringer's blog

Charlottesville, VA: City’s open data portal nears launch

July 3, 2017 2:08 PM

Tech-oriented and data-savvy folks soon will have the chance to dive deep into a new Charlottesville portal that will disclose public information about policing, property, traffic, parks, demographics and the environment.

The launch of the city’s open data portal later this summer is part of an initiative that started last year to make the city government more transparent and encourage the growth of the city’s tech industry. Read more »



NJ: Senate Panel Approves OPRA Overhaul

June 30, 2017 3:42 PM

After a two-year effort led by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Thursday voted to release two bills that would update and expand New Jersey’s transparency laws. Read more »



NYPD Promises to Finally Follow Freedom of Information Law

June 30, 2017 3:31 PM

The New York Police Department has entered into a stipulation and judicial order that commits the NYPD to complying with requirements of New York’s Freedom of Information Law that it has systematically flouted for more than a decade. Read more »



SC: Mount Pleasant crafting new policy for public records to include $10 minimum fee for most requests

June 30, 2017 3:05 PM

A proposed town policy for the release of public information includes a $10 minimum charge for most requests.

The plan will be the subject of a hearing at a July 11 Town Council meeting. Read more »



Wisconsin Supreme Court sides with open government advocates

June 29, 2017 1:23 PM

The Wisconsin Supreme Court unanimously sided with open government advocates Thursday in a closely watched case over when meetings should be open to the public.

The court ruled that the Appleton school district improperly closed the meeting of a committee charged with reviewing course material. A parent in the district who had wanted to attend the meetings sued and lost in lower courts before the state Supreme Court sided with him. Read more »



Attorney General Madigan and Nine Attorneys General Issue FOIA Requests Regarding Federal Government’s Immigration Policies...

June 29, 2017 1:00 PM

Attorney General Lisa Madigan today joined with nine other attorneys general to demand information and documents from the federal government concerning the detention and deportation of immigrants following the administration’s executive orders on immigration and reports that show immigrants have been unlawfully detained, causing even greater fear and uncertainty in immigrant communities across the country. Read more »



MI: Loophole Could Make State's Open Records Law a Dead Letter

June 29, 2017 12:45 PM

Nearly two months have passed since the state of Michigan received a Freedom of Information Act request for documents related to the school pension system. Yet the law requires public entities to take no longer than 15 business days to respond to a request.

That delay doesn't break the law because there is a loophole with FOIA: The law does not specify when documents responsive to a request must actually be released. Read more »



LOC calls on coders to rewire legislative data

June 29, 2017 12:28 PM

The Library of Congress wants to "rewire" how Americans tap into legislative data.

Library of Congress CIO Bud Barton called for citizen developers to unpack the linear legislative process and remake it in ways that improve  access to and understanding of legislation. Speaking at the  June 27 Legislative Data and Transparency Conference, Barton said  that the legislative data application challenge aims to  provide innovation solutions that marry centuries-old data with 21st century technology. Read more »



GA: Local DeKalb County governments work toward more transparent, user-friendly online operations

June 28, 2017 2:48 PM

DeKalb County and the cities within it may not have independent websites for government transparency — such as the site recently created by the city of Atlanta — but they are utilizing a variety of tools to keep their communities involved and informed.

The city of Atlanta recently approved the creation of a Transparent Atlanta website separate from its official site which will allow constituents to review city revenues, expenditures and all city-related financial information. Read more »



PA: Gov. Wolf to Sign Bill Limiting Public Access to Police Footage

June 28, 2017 1:50 PM

Gov.  Tom Wolf says he will sign a controversial Senate bill that would limit public access to police footage.

Under the bill, police footage (audio and video recordings from both body cameras and dashboard cameras) would become exempt from the state’s public-records law. That means police departments wouldn’t be required to release footage to those whose request it. Read more »



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