National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for May 11, 2012

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

Is secrecy justified in George Zimmerman case?

On the very first day George Zimmerman faced a judge on charges of murdering Trayvon Martin, it appeared the special prosecutor and Zimmerman's attorney were working together to keep certain records secret.

Visit ClickOrlando for the rest.

Latest Batch of DHS Occupy Documents Contains New Details About Monitoring of Protest Movement

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)released another batch of documentsThursday morning in response to Truthout's wide-ranging Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request pertaining to the agency's role in monitoring the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protest movement.

Visit Truthout for the rest.

A welcome FOIA bill

The S.C. House struck a blow for transparency in government last week, passing a bill to streamline the state’s open records law. We hope the state Senate now will follow suit – and that Gov. Nikki Haley will sign the bill once it is passed.

Visit Herald Online for the rest.

MSU was following FOIA law in redacting portions of state Rep. Bob Genetski's drunken driving arrest video

Michigan State University wasn't protecting state Rep. Bob Genetski when it redacted portions of police video of his Jan. 19 drunken driving arrest, according to spokesman Kent Cassella.

Visit for the rest.

Judge temporarily blocks release of PPL data

A federal judge has blocked the Environmental Protection Agency from releasing data about PPL Corp.'s Colstrip power plant in southeastern Montana to two environmental groups until a challenge by the plant's operator can be heard.

Visit for the rest.

Arkansas Open Meetings Law under attack

Currently a lawsuit is going to the Arkansas Supreme Court that will decide past Fort Smith City Administrator Dennis Kelly violated the open meetings act.  It is alleged he discussed city business with several city directors in a series of private, one-on-one conversations in 2009.

Visit Sunshine Review for the rest.

Defense Department Releases Indexes to Joint Chiefs of Staff Filing System

Researchers interested in modern U.S. military history will benefit from FOIA releases by the Department of Defense on the record-keeping system of Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest-level organization in the U.S. military command system.

Visit Unredacted for the rest.

“That’s personnel” is rarely the right response

How public employees are performing their jobs (or whether they’re showing up at all) would appear to be pretty essential information for journalists (or just inquisitive citizens) to figure out whether government agencies are, or aren’t, working effectively.

Visit for the rest.

GAP Hails Senate Passage of Federal Whistleblower Protection

Washington, D.C. – The Government Accountability Project (GAP) hailed last night's 'Unanimous Consent' approval by the US Senate of S. 743, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA). The legislation provides millions of federal workers with the rights they need to safely report corruption from inside the federal bureaucracy.

Visit for the rest.

Secret files missing at National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration has lost track of dozens of boxes of confidential and secret government files at its records center just outside of Washington, the latest in a series of such incidents spanning more than a decade.

Visit for the rest.