FOI Advocate Blog

The NFOIC open government blog is a compendium of original concepts and analysis as well as ideas, edited excerpts and materials from a variety of sources. When the information comes from another source, we will attribute it and provide a link. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited; we will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

For Advocate posts prior to July, 2011, visit

June 10, 2013 1:04 PM

From  The Vermont ACLU is suing the nation’s largest private prison company for allegedly ignoring public records requests about Vermont prisoners.

The question at the heart of the lawsuit is whether or not the state’s public records act can be applied to a private corporation that is performing duties for a public agency. Vermont ACLU attorney Dan Barrett says he’s confident it can.


January 23, 2013 1:35 PM

From Seven Days:

Vermont has some of the weakest public-records laws in the nation, and ever-louder calls for more transparency from government watchdogs and local news outlets have barely moved the needle.
Almost four decades after Vermont enshrined the public’s “right to know,” the state’s public-records law remains riddled with exemptions — 239 in all — that put everything from tax returns to Vermont Life magazine’s subscriber list off limits to the public.
But things may be changing — at least when it comes to law-enforcement records.


November 14, 2012 9:22 AM


A lawsuit filed by a school supervisory union district against a student parent and vocal policy critic was dismissed by Rutland superior court on Tuesday. The district sued Marcel Cyr, a parent, for placing a public records request.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont hailed the dismissal as a victory for government transparency. Dan Barrett, an attorney for the ACLU, says the decision makes it clear that only a citizen can sue a public agency over a records request, not the other way around.

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