NFOIC’s latest white paper focuses on technology and transparency

For Immediate Release (09/05/2019)

Contact: Daniel Bevarly

Executive Director, NFOIC


The National Freedom of Information Coalition is pleased to announce the publication of its latest white paper, “Portal to Compliance: A Qualitative Analysis of Online Public Record Request Services in Major U.S. Cities.” The paper examines the varying capabilities of online portals hosted by government agencies, as well as solutions provider capabilities, pricing, administrative practices and what makes portals effective and efficient. 

While technology is increasingly integral to providing records to the public, people processes are still a critical component to success. The paper outlines NFOIC’s nine recommendations for best practices by government agencies for portal administration, which include:

  • Clear policies and instructions for portal usage

  • Ongoing training for public records custodians 

  • Proactive publication of popular records

  • Regular communication with requestors

  • Providing documents in native file formats

NFOIC will publish a series of white papers over the next year looking at how FOI impacts lives – offering comparative analysis of laws, practices and policies across the U.S. This research is an extension of NFOIC’s 2020 Vision strategy for improving government transparency at the state and local level at a time when access to public records and institutions is becoming more challenging for journalists, citizens and businesses.

If you know academics, government agencies or stakeholder groups who may be interested in online public records portal administration, please share this research with them. We hope this white paper can assist in the effort for improved records administration in cities and states across the U.S and look forward to hearing your feedback:



The National Freedom of Information Coalition protects your right to open government. Our mission is to make sure state and local governments and public institutions have laws, policies and procedures to facilitate the public’s access to their records and proceedings.

We are a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of state and regional affiliates representing 35 states and the District of Columbia. Through our programs, services and national member network, NFOIC promotes press freedom, legislative and administrative reforms, dispute resolution, and litigation (when needed) to ensure open, transparent and accessible state and local governments and public institutions.

NFOIC is located at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications and works closely with its neighbor, the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information

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