August 12, 2015
The National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) and FOIA Machine (FM) have teamed to help people file and track their FOI requests online through select NFOIC state and regional member web sites. Visitors to more than 20 NFOIC member coalition web sites will be able to use FOIA Machine's technology to prepare, file and track their FOI request to public agencies at the local, state, or federal levels.
NFOIC and FOIA Machine have been discussing ways to work together on initiatives that would benefit each other's organizations and affiliates. FOIA Machine is a destination site offering an open-source technology platform for people to create, send and track FOI requests. NFOIC is a nonpartisan alliance of state & regional affiliates promoting collaboration, education & advocacy for open government, transparency & freedom of information. FOIA Machine has tailored its request generator code and branded it for NFOIC affiliate members' web sites where visitors to those sites can create a request letter specific for that state or for any jurisdiction.
"This relationship helps both organizations to better serve their constituents including journalists with easier access to and tracking of their FOI requests," said NFOIC president Barbara Petersen who is also executive director of the Florida First Amendment Foundation.
FOIA Machine has a database of federal, state and local FOI contacts. The organization relies on crowd sourcing to build a robust resource for open records petitioners. NFOIC has 44 state and regional member coalitions that can contribute their jurisdictions' contacts to the database that benefits a wider audience. Once registered with FOIA Machine, any user can contribute contacts to the database, or send FM the contact information and they will make the update.
"NFOIC members' knowledge and expertise is vitally important in helping citizens navigate public records laws," said FOIA Machine Project Manager Coulter Jones. "We're excited all FOIA Machine users will now benefit from NFOIC's expertise and that this platform can help NFOIC members access public records."
About NFOIC: The National Freedom of Information Coalition is a national organization that supports our right to open government. Forty-four state and regional coalitions are currently connected through the NFOIC, representing a nonpartisan alliance promoting collaboration, education and advocacy for open government, transparency and freedom of information. NFOIC also manages the John S. and James L. Knight FOI Fund, established in 2010 through a grant from the Knight Foundation to help litigants fight for open government.
About FOIA Machine: FOIA Machine is an open-source platform that empowers citizens and journalists to easily prepare, file and track multiple public records requests to various governmental and public agencies worldwide. This site helps users access government documents and data that are covered by Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws. FOIA Machine, a project supported by The Center for Investigative Reporting, was initially funded with a John S. Knight Foundation Prototype grant, and received additional support from a Kickstarter campaign and the Reynolds Journalism Institute.