NFOIC FOI Friday for August 19 2011

August 19, 2011 2:47 PM

A few items selected from many of interest in the last few days.

Fulton County (Mo.) makes state news by prohibiting video taping of meetings

From AreaWideNews:

"I cannot, as a citizen of Fulton County, sit here and watch you violate the rights of the citizens of this county," said Nancy Cole, interrupting an Aug. 8 meeting of the Fulton County Quorum Court.

Cole's comments touched off a tense showdown over whether quorum court meetings can be video taped.

Visit AreaWideNews.com for the rest of the story.

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2011 ASAP FOIA/Privacy Act training workshop

From American Society of Access Professionals:

The American Society of Access Professionals (ASAP) is an independent, educational, nonprofit association founded by concerned federal government employees and private citizens working in the fields of information access through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act, among others. ASAP was founded as a professional forum dedicated to bringing government FOIA and Privacy Act personnel in touch with the requester community, which uses the FOIA and Privacy Act. This requester community includes private citizens, law firms, businesses, media and nonprofit organizations.

All ASAP programs draw upon the highest caliber of government FOIA and Privacy instructors and speakers together with known experts in the public requester field to teach and discuss common problems in an environment where each side voices its concern in open dialogue.

Visit AccessPro.org for the rest of the story.

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Washington high court pushes open investigative records

From The Seattle Times:

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The public release of investigative records does not violate the privacy of an officer who was accused of sexual assault but never charged, Washington's Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

In a split decision that led only four of the nine justices to write the majority opinion, the court determined that Bainbridge Island police officer Steven Cain's identity should be redacted when the documents are released.

Visit The Seattle Times for the rest of the story.

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Remaking government in a Wiki age

From The New York Times:

Maybe we are all thinking too much like Bolsheviks and not enough like Googlers. For Lenin and the Russian revolutionaries, the big question was “Kto kogo?” — essentially, “Who has the upper hand?”

Kto kogo remains the paradigm at the center of the fiscal battles roiling the Western world: young vs. old; rich taxpayers vs. poor welfare beneficiaries; public sector workers vs. private sector ones; wealthy Northern Europe vs. bankrupt Southern Europe; small government conservatives vs. big government liberals. But a few people — writers, activists, even politicians — are examining the current woes of the Western state through a very different prism.

Visit NYTimes.com for the rest of the story.

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First Amendment Foundation offers Sunshine Law seminars

From TCPalm:

In many cases, government officials who inflate the cost of public records requests — or delay such requests, or attempt to conduct the public's business in private — aren't necessarily being malicious, secretive or incorrigible. They simply do not understand their responsibilities to the public under sunshine law.

Education is the key. Toward this objective, the First Amendment Foundation and the League of Women Voters will be offering two, one-day training seminars in our region — Sept. 26 in Orlando and Sept. 28 in West Palm Beach — on the state's open meetings and public records laws. The cost is $25 — a small price to pay to help ensure governments on the Treasure Coast are responsive to their constituents.

Visit TCPalm.com for the rest of the story.

editor's note: The First Amendment Foundation is a member of NFOIC.

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Court rules White House visitor logs subject to FOIA

From Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press:

A federal district court in Washington, D.C. held on Wednesday that White House visitor logs are agency records and therefore subject to possible disclosure under the federal Freedom of Information Act in Judicial Watch, Inc. v. United States Secret Service.

Judicial Watch requested the visitor logs in August 2009, requesting all logs dating from President Obama's inauguration in January 2009 to "the present." The U.S. Secret Sevice argued that the records were not "agency records" as defined by FOIA, but records of the White House, subject to the Presidential Records Act. In addition, the Secret Service claimed that it would be "virtually impossible" for the agency to review all the records requested "without potentially compromising national security interests."

Visit RCFP.org for the rest of the story.

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Government agencies offer new tool to boost access

From The Hill:

The Government Printing Office and the National Archives’s Office of the Federal Register are introducing another technology initiative to increase public access to and transparency of regulatory information.

The offices announced on Wednesday the addition of an Application Programming Interface for FederalRegister.gov, which enables information technology developers to create new applications with information published on the site.

Visit The Hill for the rest of the story.