NFOIC’s FOI Friday for January 27, 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:

South Dakota GOP official joins with Democrats to support open government

PIERRE — The Republican governor’s chief of staff and a Democratic leader in the Legislature agree that public bodies should be allowed to keep minutes during closed-door meetings, but some Republican legislative leaders oppose the idea. … uring a later meeting of his own with the newspaper officials, Dusty Johnson, chief of staff for Gov. Dennis Daugaard and a Mitchell resident, said he personally likes the idea even though he could not recall if the Daugaard administration has taken an official position on it.

Visit The Daily Republic for the rest.

A hard look at what open government means for the Department of Energy

Every government agency got on the Internet in a different way. Often times, individuals decided that they'd take their little corner of the world online. Hundreds of different ways of presenting government information to the public sprang up. Sometimes these websites were terrible, but other times, they were wonderful, or at least happened to contain vital documents that could be found nowhere else. Now, though, government agencies know that they *have* to be online, which means they need A Policy. Not only that, they need a plan to deal with the wild legacy infrastructure that preceded the era of The Policy.

Visit The Atlantic for the rest.

Under Obama, the Freedom of Information Act still in shackles

Three years ago this past weekend, on his first full day in office, President Barack Obama issued his now infamous memo on transparency and open government, which was supposed to fulfill his campaign promise to lead the “most transparent administration in history.” Instead, his administration has been just as secretive—if not more so—than his predecessors, and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has become the prime example of his administration’s lack of progress.

Visit Electronic Frontier Foundation for the rest.

Audit raises safety concerns about Atlanta transit system

ATLANTA — A federal audit of Atlanta's public transit system has raised several safety concerns about equipment, a near-miss involving a train and the death of a man whose clothing became caught in an escalator. WSB-TV and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained the previously unreleased audit of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority this month through the Freedom of Information Act.

Visit The Republic for the rest.

Immigration authorities locked 13,000 in limbo

On a single day this past fall, the United States government held 13,185 people in immigration detention who had not been convicted of a crime, some of whom will not be charged with one, according to information The Huffington Post obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Instead, at a cost of roughly 2 million taxpayer dollars per day, the men and women were detained while immigration authorities sorted out their fates.

Visit Huffington Post for the rest.

Michael Moore joins Partnership for Civil Justice Fund in FOIA request

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) announced today that it is being joined by award-winning filmmaker and author Michael Moore in the Freedom of Information Act ( FOIA) demands to federal and local law enforcement agencies seeking public disclosure of documents and information concerning their involvement in the coordinated crackdown on Occupy encampments across the nation.

Visit Justice Online for the rest.

No extra part-timer to handle FOIA requests in Roscoe, IL

Village trustees briefly considered adding a part-time position to handle a recent surge of Freedom of Information Act requests, but quickly dismissed the idea at a Thursday committee meeting. The village has received 10 FOIA requests this month for 86 documents. Village Hall’s FOIA officer, Linda Day, has spent 54 hours responding to the requests this month.Village trustees briefly considered adding a part-time position to handle a recent surge of Freedom of Information Act requests, but quickly dismissed the idea at a Thursday committee meeting.

Visit Rockford Register Star for the rest.