LDieringer's blog

D.C., Md., Va. advocates oppose WMATA safety board secrecy

August 18, 2016 3:34 PM

Transparency advocatees from D.C., Maryland and Virginia jointly urged legislators to ensure the public and news media have access to meetings and documents of the Metrorail Safety Commission proposed to oversee the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (“WMATA”). The D.C. Open Government Coalition; the Maryland, Delaware, D.C. Press Association; and Virginia Coalition for Open Government sent letters Aug. 18 to key lawmakers in the three jurisdictions seeking amendments to a proposed interstate compact to establish the safety commission. Read more »



More D.C. Open Meetings Act Enforcement: Education Funding "Working Group" Told to Meet in Public

August 18, 2016 3:26 PM

In a July 21, 2016, opinion, the D.C. Office of Open Government directed the District's Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) to end plans for months of private meetings of a school funding “working group” of officials and the public called for by law. Read more »



Poll: Tennesseans support access to police body camera footage in cases of death/injury

August 18, 2016 3:19 PM

The Tennessee Coalition for Open Government (TCOG) says more than 9 in 10 Tennesseans (92%) support public access to police body camera video when it records use of force that results in a citizen’s serious injury or death. That's according to a new poll by icitizen in collaboration with the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government. The support crosses partisan, age and regional lines. Read more »



Middle Township Police plan to share data with national system

August 17, 2016 3:43 PM

Middle Township Police plan to join with 53 police departments around the country in sharing information about interactions between citizens and law enforcement to a national database, an official said Monday. Read more »

Des Moines Register gets a win in an uphill fight for transparency

August 16, 2016 3:41 PM

Not long after taking over as editor of the Des Moines Register in 2014, Amalie Nash told CJR that she was determined to uphold the paper’s “longstanding tradition of standing up for public records.” Read more »



Illinois AG Rules That Public Employees' Personal Emails Are Public Records

August 16, 2016 3:34 PM

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has issued a binding opinion under the state's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that email messages sent or received through public employees' personal email accounts may be public records subject to disclosure under FOIA if the messages pertain to public business. Read more »



The FOIA “Five” - After 50 Years, Changes in the Freedom of Information Act That (Might) Matter

August 16, 2016 3:21 PM

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), passed by Congress and signed into law in 1966, “established a policy of openness toward information within the control of the Executive Branch, and a presumption that such records should be accessible to the American public.” Since its enactment, FOIA has been frequently utilized by journalists, historians, attorneys, and members of the American public to track the inner workings of the federal government, as well as to hold it accountable. Read more »



Florida: Open government activists back legal challenge to worker’s comp rate increase

August 16, 2016 3:01 PM

A leading open-government advocate offered strong support Monday for a legal challenge to a proposed workers’ compensation insurance premium increase of nearly 20 percent.

“I think he’s got a cause of action,” First Amendment Foundation President Barbara Peterson said of Miami attorney James Fee, who is challenging the rate hike on open-government grounds. Continue... Read more »



Dallas police don’t want to release bomb robot data, claim information is ’embarrassing’

August 15, 2016 12:07 PM

When the Dallas police used a bomb robot to kill a suspect who had shot and killed five police officers and wounding nine others, it set a controversial precedent that raised questions about the procedures and practices the police had followed to determine whether to use a remote detonation explosive. Multiple journalists filed Freedom of Information Act requests to learn more about the police’s decision-making process. Read more »



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