NFOIC’s FOI Friday for April 13, 2012

A few open government and FOIA news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier:

Washington State Supreme Court rules accident reports are public record

OLYMPIA – Accident reports compiled by troopers and maintained in a state database should be treated as public records available by request, Washington's Supreme Court ruled Thursday. Justices said in their 7-2 decision that the Washington State Patrol improperly withheld files from a person seeking location-specific records. He was asked to sign a document vowing that he would not use the records to sue the state.

Visit The Olympian for the rest.

Public access fight can never waver

Any discussion about open public records in New Jersey must begin with a fundamental understanding: Government officials want to keep secret as much of their business as they possibly can — unless, of course, they can gain some advantage in publicizing it. So when it comes time to debate some form of public access, those on the government side will invariably warn of such things as jeopardizing confidentiality or the high costs of record-keeping — whatever it takes to diminish government transparency in some small way.

Visit for the rest.

Jessica Dorrell, Bobby Petrino scandal shows power Of FOIA

In an amazing turn of events, another former Arkansas coach has been caught sending thousands of text messages to a mistress. Bobby Petrino is just the latest Arkansas coach to reveal a bit too much on a state issued cell phone. Petrino was dismissed by Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long on before his phone records became available, but the revealing records won't make it any easier for him to land his next job.

Visit International Business Times for the rest.

University of Utah students launch open government campaign

University of Utah honors students admittedly have an agenda: They want government to be more open about its agendas. In fact, they want the state’s 270-plus cities and counties to be more transparent about all their policies and practices.

Visit Salt Lake Tribune for the rest.

NASA's new Web plans stress open source, cloud

NASA is building an entirely new Web architecture that leans heavily on cloud computing, open source tools, and social media. It will be used both for public-facing websites and internal Web services, the space agency announced Tuesday.

Visit InformationWeek for the rest.

ACLU pushes for 'transparency' in Mayor Frank Jackson's schools plan

CLEVELAND, Ohio –Mayor Frank Jackson has adjusted his schools plan to make the dealings of a proposed board to review charter schools more open, but the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio says he has not gone far enough.

Visit for the rest.