2015 Open Government survey to measure transparency of public institutions




2015 Open Government survey to measure transparency of public institutions

IRE joins NFOIC and MLRC for the national biennial member survey

Contact: Daniel Bevarly
239.823.1811 •  dbevarly@nfoic.org

August 25, 2015 – The National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) and the New York-based Media Law Resource Center (MLRC) has sent its fourth biennial open government survey to its members to identify current trends in public institutions for requesting and accessing public records.  This year, Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) will participate and include their membership in the survey.

Combined, the three organizations have 8,000 members who will receive the 24 question survey. Participants will include professionals from the news media, the legal profession and government watchdog organizations.  Results will be reported in October. 
Responses to the 2013 Open Government Survey showed a continuation of troubling trends for advocates of open government and government transparency revealing a substantial decline over the 2011 survey in the amount of resources devoted by media organizations to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and open government issues.  The survey also pointed out a growing perception that recent legislative changes were more often harmful to transparency and accountability rather than improvements for openness and access.
As a result of that survey, NFOIC and MLRC outlined three recommendations to make government more open, accessible and transparent:
1. Increasing government officials’ knowledge regarding open government responsibilities;
2. More education of citizens about open government laws and policies in their states and communities; and 
3. Improving and increasing enforcement measures.
Additional Contacts:
George Freeman, Executive Director, MLRC
Mark Horvit, Executive Director, IRE