Why NFOIC is Important

Why NFOIC is Important

Each day, a business owner, citizen, journalist, or student, has difficulty obtaining public information about or is denied access to a public meeting, or document concerning their government or public institution.

How does this happen in today’s 24/7-connected digital society? It happens when these institutions and officials overlook their state freedom of information (FOI) laws. And too often they knowingly deny public access by constructing obstacles and gaming the system. Sometimes denials result from a lack of training and education in public records and public meeting laws. But too often, it is intentional and politically motivated.

The National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) is a nonpartisan alliance of 42 state & regional coalitions representing 45 states and the District of Columbia. NFOIC and its state coalitions are dedicated to open government, transparent public institutions and supporting FOI laws and policies at the state and local levels.

NFOIC advocates, educates and provides direct assistance to meet its objectives. We are keenly aware of the challenges to access information in an increasingly digital world. We support our dedicated state coalitions that are on the front lines working daily to ensure open government.

Facilitation and Advocacy

  • NFOIC connects state coalitions and facilitates ongoing collaboration and information sharing on common challenges and potential solutions.
  • The coalition produces a daily news feed of stories and events surrounding open government to inform and educate members and the public.
  • NFOIC provides easy access to state FOI resources
  • NFOIC supplies sample FOIA request letters.  

Education and Training

  • Each year, NFOIC and its coalitions convene the FOI Summit --a two-day event of presentations, discussions and ideas about the latest issues and trends on state FOI laws and practices across the U.S.  
  • Education and training programs for public officials, journalists and the public are offered through NFOIC and many of its state coalitions.
  • NFOIC’s national open government survey provides insight into the latest issues and challenges journalists face when engaging state and local government and public organizations.

Financial Assistance

  • When open records requests are denied, NFOIC offers financial support to litigate open government lawsuits through the Knight FOI Litigation Fund.
  • NFOIC has provided grants to state coalitions to support special projects or ongoing operations.

Journalists, attorneys, watchdog organizations and a concerned public rely on NFOIC to help keep track of and monitor their public institutions. With a strong, active state affiliate network, NFOIC and its members represent the primary (and arguably, only) systematic, organized effort to address transparency issues in state and local governments. NFOIC’s strong national team represents a diverse and experienced talent pool in journalism, media law, public policy and accountability, FOI legislation, training and advocacy.

Join NFOIC or donate to our mission. Your financial contribution supports our work and the work of member coalitions in our unifying purpose: to protect your right to open government. http://nfoic.net/donatecontribute/