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

April 6, 2012 1:55 PM

From National Security Archive:

The State Department today released a February 2006 internal memo from the Department's then-counselor opposing Justice Department authorization for "enhanced interrogation techniques" by the CIA. All copies of the memo (Document 1), which reflect strong internal disagreement within the George W. Bush administration over the constitutionality of such techniques, were thought to have been destroyed. But the State Department located a copy and declassified it in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the National Security Archive.

April 6, 2012 1:54 PM

From Project on Government Oversight:

POGO and our allies' new campaign to shine a light on the massive defense budget is steadily gaining steam. So far, thousands of people and scores of nonprofit organizations have voiced their support for opening up the Senate markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the bill that allocates hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars each year. 

April 6, 2012 1:53 PM

From Daily Caller:

The FCC’s own Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reports suggests that the agency is actually more transparent than the federal government average, putting the agency at odds with numbers recently revealed by Florida House Republican Mario Diaz-Balart.

April 6, 2012 1:53 PM


Gov. Nikki Haley wants lawmakers to lift the exemption in state law that allows them to shield their emails and other internal communication from public view.

But how the governor’s office has pursued that goal during the ongoing legislative session has put Haley’s administration at odds with the S.C. Press Association, which represents and serves the state’s daily and weekly newspapers.

April 5, 2012 12:01 PM

From Courier-Journal:

Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government released a second round of files Thursday from the murder case against former state Rep. Steve Nunn, who is serving a life sentence for fatally shooting his ex-fiancee Amanda Ross in 2009.

Authorities initially denied access to the investigative file, arguing, in part, that police do not have to release the files until Nunn's sentence has been fully served. But the city reversed course following an open records dispute with The Courier-Journal and other media and released a portion of the documents in August.

April 5, 2012 12:00 PM

From Asbury Park Press:

When exactly can the information floating inside a computer be considered a “government record” that is open to public inspection? It’s a question being considered by the courts as a result of a lawsuit by the Gannett New Jersey newspapers against the small Somerset County borough of Raritan.

The answer — which could have lasting consequences for agencies under the state’s Open Public Records Act — is months away.

April 5, 2012 11:59 AM


The city of Kasson has been notified that the library board did not comply with the state "sunshine law" when members met on Oct. 21.

The library board called an emergency meeting that day to discuss terminating an employee, but the state commissioner of administration has determined that the meeting was not in fact an emergency meeting.

April 5, 2012 11:59 AM

From Gainesville Times:

As part of the revisions to open records laws, the cost of getting government documents would drop to 10 cents from 25 cents per page.

That change may seem insignificant, but it has troubled Gainesville city officials, who say they already lose money filling records requests.

April 5, 2012 11:58 AM


No one who believes in government transparency and accountability is cheering the Vermont Supreme Court’s recent decision that police investigation records are “permanently and categorically” exempt from the public’s eye.

April 5, 2012 11:57 AM


An attorney at odds politically with the township came down with a case of sticker shock when he received a $45,000 bill for the 175 Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests he filed with the township.

Mario Blanch, who has represented township employees in lawsuits against the municipality, says it's just another example of the North Bergen administration attempting to quell opposing viewpoints and trying to keep residents in the dark when it comes to how the township spends their tax money.

April 5, 2012 11:56 AM

From Star Advertiser:

The city is offering new board and commission members the option to complete mandatory Sunshine Law training online.

Honolulu ordinance requires all public board and commission members to complete a workshop on the state's open meetings statute. That law requires agendas to be filed six days in advance, restricts deliberations to public meetings and guarantees the public the right to submit testimony on any agenda item.

April 5, 2012 11:43 AM


Despite the best attempts of Capitol Republicans, school districts will retain the right to keep collective bargaining negotiations under wraps.

A bill to require negotiations between school districts and teachers be made public was killed on a party line vote Wednesday afternoon, despite the urging of several teachers to open such talks.

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